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Navy Vet Awarded $5.4 Million in Asbestos Lawsuit

An Oregon Navy vet has been awarded $5.4 million in an asbestos lawsuit that took just three weeks to conclude. The lawsuit involved several defendants including the U.S. Navy, a division of a global technology company, and an undisclosed firm.

Attorneys for the plaintiff said that their client was exposed to asbestos-laden insulation on ships while serving in the military from 1960 to 1964. He was also exposed to asbestos-containing gaskets and packing material made by the division of the technology company while working as a pipefitter from 1965 to 1987. The plaintiff worked with the asbestos materials in Oregon and in Massachusetts. The 75 year-old plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2015. At the time of the verdict, doctors said he had about six months to 1 and 1/2 years left to live.

Jurors determined that the vet and his wife, 69, were due $813,000 in economic damages and $1.63 million in noneconomic damages for pain and suffering. For these damages, the jury found that the Navy was 65 percent at fault; the technology company was 20 percent at fault, and an unnamed company (which settled before trial) was 10 percent at fault. Though the Navy was found mostly responsible for the plaintiff’s mesothelioma, it is immune from having to pay. However, the technology company was ordered to pay the remaining $3 million (in punitive damages).

Mesothelioma is a global problem that claims the lives of as many as 43,000 people annually. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that 3,000 to 4,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, showing that the American population is still at risk.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, schedule an appointment to see your doctor today. It can take decades for mesothelioma to develop, so it is important to inform your doctor of past exposure. Doing so will ensure that your health will be monitored regularly.

 

Sources

Green, Aimee. "Jury Awards $5.4 Million for Man with Asbestos Cancer." OregonLive.com. Oregon Live LLC., 08 Aug. 2017. Web. 12 Sept. 2017.

Henley, S. Jane, Theodore C. Larson, and Manxia Wu. "Mesothelioma Incidence in 50 States and the District of Columbia, United States, 2003–2008." International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 22 Apr. 2013. Web. 12 Sept. 2017.