In one of the largest awards ever in an asbestos case, a major auto parts manufacturer was ordered to pay $81.5 Million to an asbestos victim’s family. The victim in the case repaired backhoes and hot rods with asbestos-laden parts that he claimed the auto parts manufacturer (defendant) knew were defective. A unanimous jury agreed, finding that the defendant was “negligent and strictly liable” for their defective asbestos-laden parts.
After years of exposure to the faulty auto parts, both at work and while restoring hot rods and classic cars at home, the plaintiff discovered that he had developed mesothelioma—a rare cancer with no cure. Mesothelioma starts in cells in the linings of certain parts of the body, especially in the linings of the chest (pleural mesothelioma) or abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma). Per the American Cancer Society, symptoms of pleural mesothelioma can include everything from cough and chest pain to excessive sweating, shortness of breath and fatigue. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma can include weight loss, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, constipation, and swelling or fluid in the abdomen.
By the time the plaintiff discovered that he had mesothelioma, it was already too late. He died in 2015 at the age of 67 of complications from mesothelioma. The plaintiff’s family carried on with the lawsuit, braving a trial that lasted more than three months. It took just five hours for the jury to return its verdict in the victim’s favor.
Though there is no cure for mesothelioma, it can be treated. This is especially true if the disease is caught early. If you have worked with asbestos in the past, or think you might have, see your doctor right away. It is important to see your doctor whether you have symptoms or not.
PR Newswire: News Distribution, Targeting and Monitoring. PR Newswire Association LLC., 20 Apr. 2017. Web. 24 July 2017.
"Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma." American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society, Inc., 2017. Web. 17 July 2017.
"What is Mesothelioma?" American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society, Inc., 2017. Web. 17 July 2017.