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$17.25 Million Asbestos Award in New York Secondhand Exposure Case Largest to Date

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In January of 2017, a verdict was entered against two automotive gasket manufacturers who were both found reckless in a secondhand asbestos exposure case. In the record-setting verdict, the plaintiffs were awarded $75 million, comprising $50 million for the wife of the maintenance worker and home-based mechanic in the case and $25 million for the husband.

The $50 million portion of the award included $40 million in past pain and suffering and $10 million in future pain and suffering. The $25 million portion consisted of $15 million for past loss of consortium and $10 million for future loss of consortium.

The plaintiff’s filed suit against a number of defendants in relation to the wife’s peritoneal mesothelioma, which was allegedly caused by contact with her husband who brought asbestos home on his clothes and body after performing maintenance work at a local hospital. Exposure was also allegedly caused by automotive repairs performed in the plaintiffs’ home including work with brakes, clutches, and manifold gaskets. The two automotive gasket manufacturers named in the suit lost the case against them, but challenged the verdict. In a post-trial motion, granted solely with respect to the $75 million jury verdict, the award was reduced to $17,250,000.

The $17.25 award is still the largest New York appellate upheld asbestos award to date, at nearly $8 million dollars higher than the preceding largest to date, which was $9.5 million.

The reduced award comprised $16 million for the mesothelioma victim, including $12 million for past pain and suffering and $4 million in future pain and suffering. The husband’s award consisted of $1,250,000, including $1 million for past loss of consortium and $250,000 million for future loss of consortium.

In addition to being the largest award of its kind to date in New York, it is the longest asbestos pain and suffering period remitted to date. The period consists of 52 months of past pain and suffering and 12 months of future pain and suffering, which translates to $230,000 per month in past pain and suffering, $333,000 per month in future pain and suffering, $19,200 per month in past loss of consortium, and $20,800 per month in future loss of consortium.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, see your doctor right away. Although asbestos exposure often occurs in the workplace, it is important to remember that exposure can also occur in the home during renovations, while working with asbestos components, or even from deteriorating asbestos. Family members can also be exposed to asbestos through contact with loved ones who may be working with or near asbestos in the workplace.

Your doctor can evaluate your risk of developing asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma and refer you to a specialist if you are found to be at risk. A specialist can set up a monitoring plan to help detect mesothelioma in its early and most treatable stages. Talk to your doctor today.


Sources Justia, 2018. Web. 06 Dec. 2018.

“New York Auto-Parts Case Nets Mesothelioma Sufferer $75 Million Verdict.” Lexis Nexis Legal News. RELX Group, LexisNexis, 31 Jan. 2017. Web. 06 Dec. 2018.

“New York's Top Verdicts.” New York Magazine. New York Media LLC., 10 Jan. 2018. Web. 06 Dec. 2018.

Supreme Court of the State of New York. 10 Oct. 2018. Web. 06 Dec. 2018.