A South Carolina Jury Awards a Mesothelioma Widow $1.75 Million in Compensation

For purposes of this article, the deceased victim, in this case, will be referred to as Mr. C.B., and his surviving spouse as Mrs. M.B.

In a recent court decision, a South Carolina jury awarded a mesothelioma widow $1.75 million in compensation. The jury’s decision held the defendant, John Crane, Inc., accountable for negligence in the mesothelioma victim’s untimely death.

The mesothelioma victim’s widow, Mrs. M.B., filed a claim against John Crane, Inc., and accused the company of having irresponsibly exposed her late husband, Mr. C.B., to asbestos-contaminated gaskets when he was working at the Celanese factory in the maintenance department. According to the widow, the gaskets that were used in Celanese’s processes only lasted for a short time before wearing out. After they wore out, the gaskets would be taken to Mr. C.B.’s department, where their residue would be scraped off to allow for the installation of new gaskets. It was during this process that Mr. B would inhale the asbestos dust, which later led to the development of his illness.

Mrs. M.B.’s claims also pointed to the defendant’s clear awareness of asbestos’s hazardous nature. Despite the company knowing of the dangers of asbestos, it continued to manufacture products containing the dangerous substance, disregarding the potential risks to workers like Mr. C.B. In its defense, John Crane, Inc. tried to argue that Mr. C.B.’s illness was not caused by its gaskets but rather by asbestos-contaminated pipe insulation that was present in his work environment. However, the jury remained steadfast in holding the defendant accountable for its role in Mr. C.B.’s death.

In her claim, Mrs. M.B. had asked the court to consider several charges against John Crane. Inc. She had accused John Crane, Inc. of negligence, strict liability, and breach of implied warranty. However, the court only awarded damages for negligence. Additionally, the jury found that Mrs. M.B. was not entitled to punitive damages. In mesothelioma cases, punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the defendant’s conduct is considered particularly reckless or egregious. These damages are only awarded in such cases because, unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are not intended to compensate the claimant but rather to punish the defendant. The court found that John Crane, Inc. had not engaged in willful, reckless, or wanton conduct.

In the end, Mrs. M.B. was awarded $532,433 for Mr. C.B.’s wrongful death, $608,783 for loss of consortium, and $608,783 on survival claims, totaling $1.75 million. This verdict delivered a measure of justice to Mrs. M.B. and her family. While this money cannot undo what happened or bring back Mr. C.B., it will provide crucial financial assistance to Mrs. M.B. and other surviving family members.

Cases like Mrs. M.B.’s serve as a reminder of the cost of corporate negligence and how crucial it is to hold negligence companies liable for their actions or lack of them. Mesothelioma victims and their families can achieve justice even when facing large corporations with selfish interests.

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