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Pipe Manufacturer Ordered to Pay $2.1M to Worker’s Widow in Tennessee Asbestos Case

A Maury County, Tennessee jury has awarded the widow of a career industrial maintenance mechanic $2.1 million in an asbestos case. The widow’s husband worked for more than three decades in the organic plant maintenance department of a Tennessee chemical company where he cut and ground down Bondstrand asbestos pipe and fittings. Each day, he would repeat a process that created large amounts of toxic asbestos dust. The mechanic knew the products contained asbestos. However, he was not informed that they were hazardous until 1973—three years after he began working for the company.  

During his decades working for the chemical company, the mechanic (plaintiff) took precautions to limit exposure to the asbestos dust. He wore a paper mask and face shield, believing this was enough protection. To avoid taking any toxic materials home from the plant, the plaintiff left his asbestos-laden clothes behind to be laundered. He also showered before heading home.

Despite following the company’s safety rules for working with asbestos, in June 2016, the plaintiff developed mesothelioma in his right lung. Because of the location of the mesothelioma, it was inoperable. The plaintiff died a year and half after his diagnosis.

On September 19, 2019, after an eight-day trial, the jury awarded the victim and his wife of 53 years $2,071,216.21. The award consisted of $121,216.21 for economic damages and $1,950,000.00 for non-economic damages. The victim was assigned 2% fault and 13% liability was assigned to the company that manufactured the Bondstrand asbestos pipe and fittings, making them responsible for $269,258.11 of the total award.

The jury found that the company’s products were unreasonably dangerous and defective, and that the company had violated federal regulations in the labeling and manufacturing of the Bondstrand pipe, which were significant causes of the plaintiff’s mesothelioma. The jury also found that the company should have foreseen the plaintiff’s injuries and that its Bondstrand products did in fact lead to his mesothelioma and death. The remaining 85% of the award was assigned to entities not represented at trial.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, see your doctor immediately. There is no cure for mesothelioma. However, early detection and treatment could lead to better outcomes. Even if you do not have any symptom, see your doctor today.

 

Sources

"Defendant 13 Percent Liable For Tennessee Jury’s $2,071,216.21 Asbestos Award." Lexis Legal News. LexisNexis, RELX Group, 2018. Web. 08 Nov. 2018.

“Plaintiff Awarded $2.1 Million in Asbestos Exposure Lawsuit.” Neural IT. Neural IT, 25 Sep. 2018. Web. 08 Nov. 2018.