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$1.8 Million Verdict Considered Largest in History of Michigan Asbestos Litigation

A Michigan jury has awarded the family of an asbestos victim $1.8 million in what is believed to be the largest lung cancer verdict in the history of Michigan asbestos litigation. According to The Record’s Legal Newsline, attorneys for the plaintiffs said, “most asbestos cases that go to verdict, especially in Michigan, are for mesothelioma. It’s unusual to go to verdict in lung cancer cases. It shows exposed people are getting lung cancer in addition to mesothelioma.”

In this case, the asbestos victim had been a steel worker at the Ford Rouge Plant in Dearborn, Michigan for some 30 years. Just 15 years after retiring, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. The victim passed away in July of 2017 at the age of 70. Attorneys for the family of the victim said the defendant, a Cleveland-based engineering company, knew as far back as 1965 that the products it sold to the plant caused cancer.

The company was also accused of failing to put warning labels on their products and selling those cancer-causing products to others, while protecting its own workers. After a two-week long trial the jury agreed with the plaintiff’s, and found the company guilty of negligence and wanton misconduct. Although the suit began with 65 defendants being named (all but the engineering company agreed to resolve their cases prior to trial), the jury blamed only the Cleveland-based engineering company, choosing to hold it “wholly accountable for this judgment despite their defense that 81 non-parties caused” the workers “fatal condition.”

In addition to the $1.8 million judgment, the jury ordered the Cleveland-based company to pay the plaintiff’s costs, which, according to Legal Newsline, represents the first such finding in an asbestos case in Michigan's history.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, see your doctor right away. Asbestos is the only cause of mesothelioma—a debilitating disease that can take decades to develop. Your doctor can assess your risk of developing mesothelioma based on your background (occupation, environment, etc.), check for early warning signs, and even administer tests that could detect the disease much sooner. For example, soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRPs) are often elevated in people with mesothelioma. A blood test could detect high levels of these substances, which would make mesothelioma more likely in the patient.

Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, early detection could lead to better treatment options and longer survival. See your doctor today.

 

Sources

"Mesothelioma: Tests, Diagnosis, and Treatments." WebMD. WebMD LLC, 2018. Web. 19 June 2018.

Minnis, Glenn. "Recent Verdict Awarding $1.8 Million to Man's Family in Asbestos Lung Cancer Case Largest in Michigan's History." Legal Newsline. The Record Inc., 07 May 2018. Web. 19 June 2018.