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Industrial Mechanic's Widow Awarded $2.1 Million in Tennessee Asbestos Case

The widow of a career industrial maintenance mechanic has been awarded $2.1 million in a Tennessee asbestos case several years in the making. The mechanic developed mesothelioma after working 34 years in the organic plant maintenance department of a Tennessee chemical company. His job entailed cutting and grinding down Bondstrand asbestos pipe and fittings for a secure fit. On a weekly basis, he would repeat a process that created large amounts of asbestos dust. Although the mechanic knew the products contained asbestos, he was not informed that they were hazardous until 1973. He started working for the company in 1970.

During his decades working for the chemical company, the mechanic (plaintiff) took precautions to limit exposure to the asbestos dust. The plaintiff wore a paper mask and face shield, believing this was all that was needed for protection. To avoid taking any toxic materials home from the plant, the plaintiff left his dusty clothes behind to be laundered and he showered before heading home. The plaintiff stated that he always followed the company’s safety rules for working with asbestos.

Although he followed the safety rules and protected himself the best way he knew how, in June 2016, the plaintiff developed mesothelioma in his right lung. Because of the location of the mesothelioma, it was inoperable. Despite living an active lifestyle, walking three miles a day and boating regularly, the plaintiff died a year and half after his diagnosis.

After an eight-day trial, on September 19, 2019, 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.

The jury assigned 13% liability to the company that manufactured the Bondstrand asbestos pipe and fittings, making them responsible for $269,258.11 of the total award. Not only did the jury find that the company’s products were unreasonably dangerous and defective, it found that the company had violated federal regulations in the manufacturing and labeling of the Bondstrand pipe, which were significant causes of the plaintiff’s mesothelioma. The jury found that the company should have foreseen the plaintiff’s injuries and that its Bondstrand products did in fact lead to his mesothelioma and subsequent death. The jury assigned the remaining 85% of the award to entities who were not represented at trial.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, see your doctor right away. Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, early detection could lead to better treatment options and outcomes. Talk 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.