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$7.55 Million Awarded in Asbestos ‘Bystander’ Exposure Case

A Massachusetts jury has awarded a former power plant worker and his wife $7.55 million in a unique asbestos case that involved indirect exposure to asbestos fibers in the workplace. According to the suit, the workers job required him to oversee equipment at the plant, which included insulation distributed, sold, removed and installed by an insulation company. Because even the smallest amount of asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma, the workers contact in this “bystander” capacity was enough to cause his mesothelioma.

According to a Lexis Legal News release, doctors diagnosed the worker with mesothelioma in 2015. He and his wife quickly filed suit in the Middlesex County, Mass., Superior Court “against the numerous entities whose conduct allegedly contributed to his exposure to asbestos.” The case proceeded to trial against a regional insulation company that was no stranger to being sued by mesothelioma victims. This would become one of two highly publicized multimillion-dollar verdicts against the company for negligence in an asbestos-exposure case.  

On September 20, 2017, the jury found the company liable “under negligence and breach of warranty claims for its installation of asbestos-containing insulation.” The jury found that the insulation company “had a duty to the worker” per LLN, and “that it breached that duty, that he suffered injury as a result and that the breach was a substantial contributing factor in that injury.” 

On the breach of express and implied warranty claim, “the jury also found that the Insulation company supplied and/or installed asbestos products, that the company knew or reasonably should have known that the products posed a risk to users and that the breach of warranty was a substantial factor in the injury.”

In addition, “the jury concluded that the insulation installed during shutdowns and outages at the power plant did not constitute permanent improvements and was therefore not subject to the state’s statute of repose,” according to the release.

The $7.55 million dollar verdict consisted of $3 million for the workers medical expenses, $3 million for pain and suffering, $50,000 in lost earning capacity and $1.5 million for his wife’s loss of consortium.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, see your doctor right away. Though there is no cure for mesothelioma, your medical team will have a much better chance of helping you live longer if the disease is caught in its early stages.

 

Sources

GlobeNewswire. GlobeNewswire, Inc., a Nasdaq Company, 2017. Web. 22 Oct. 2017.

Kass, Dani. "Power Plant Worker Gets Record $7.55M Asbestos Verdict." Law360. Portfolio Media, Inc., 22 Sep. 2017. Web. 22 Oct. 2017.

"Massachusetts Jury Awards $7.55M In Asbestos-Insulation Case." Lexis Legal News. LexisNexis, 22 Sept. 2017. Web. 26 Oct. 2017.