The National Trial Lawyers
BBB
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
10 Best
Asbestos Mesothelioma Trial Lawyers - Top 10
Best Attorneys of America
Veteran Approved
Americas Top 100
Lawyers of Distinction
The American Association For Justice
Best Law Firms Of America
Top American Lawyers
NADC badge

Articles Posted in Mesothelioma Court Rulings & Legislation

A New Orleans, Louisiana jury recently awarded an $8.2 million mesothelioma verdict to a former mechanic against Ford. Ford Motor Company is a multinational company that designs, manufactures, markets, and services cars, trucks, utility vehicles, and luxury vehicles. After only 60 minutes of deliberation, the Louisiana jury ordered the manufacturing giant to pay the victim $8,261,874 as compensation for the malignant mesothelioma he blamed on the repeated asbestos exposure he suffered while servicing vehicles manufactured by Ford. The jury’s quick decision came after three weeks of testimony about how the former mechanic was repeatedly exposed to asbestos while servicing clutches and brakes installed on Ford vehicles and buses.

Over a year ago, the Louisiana resident was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare and fatal cancer. Immediately the former mechanic learned that he had mesothelioma, he filed a negligence and strict liability lawsuit against Ford Motor Company. The former mechanic worked as a gas station mechanic and as a school bus mechanic. It was while working these jobs in the 1960s and 70s that he suffered repeated asbestos exposure. While servicing asbestos-containing clutches and brakes on vehicles manufactured by Ford, the former mechanic was exposed to asbestos dust. When asbestos fibers get stuck in the lining of the lungs after being inhaled, they cause inflammation and scarring to DNA and mesothelial cells. Mesothelioma then develops due to the inflammation, typically decades after initial asbestos exposure.

Ford Motor Company’s failure to warn of the presence of asbestos or related dangers was at the heart of this mesothelioma litigation. The plaintiff’s attorneys and the jury determined that Ford knew about the dangers of asbestos long before the former mechanic’s exposure. They also determined that the manufacturing giant failed to warn the former mechanic about the dangers of asbestos. Due to that, the jury awarded the plaintiff $8.2. million in compensatory damages.

According to a July 8, 2021 opinion, Washington Supreme Court reinstated an $81.5 million ruling in full after overturning an appellate court ruling for a wrongful death claim of an auto mechanic. According to the Supreme Court ruling, the Court of Appeals “overstepped the limited role played by appellate courts in the civil justice system and substituted its own subjective judgment for that of the jury and trial courts based on nothing more than the size of the verdict.”

The original claim was brought forward by the family and estate of the deceased mechanic who died in 2015 at the age of 67 of peritoneal mesothelioma. In 2017, after an approximately 12-week trial, a jury unanimously found NAPA Auto Parts and Genuine Parts Corp (GPC) liable in the mechanic’s death and awarded the deceased mechanic’s survivors $81.5 million. In its verdict, the jury found that NAPA and GPC were strictly liable and negligent for their defective asbestos-containing products used by the mechanic. Before his diagnosis and death, the deceased had worked with brake pads containing asbestos, and other parts manufactured by GPC and sold through NAPA for decades.

After the jury awarded the $81.5 million to the deceased’s mechanic’s survivors, GPC and NAPA moved for a new trial or alternatively to have the damages awarded lowered, which the trial court denied. The Court of Appeals then vacated the jury’s $81.5 million verdict and reversed the trial court in part. The Court of Appeals concluded that the trial court made a mistake when it excluded one of NAPA and GPC’s expert witnesses and applied what was referred to as “subjective determination.” The Court of Appeals also concluded that the jury’s award was excessive and ordered a new trial on damages.

When faced with a personal injury or wrongful death claim situation, it can get confusing and complicated. Things can get especially complicated and confusing for a person dealing with a mesothelioma case. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by asbestos. It is a type of cancer that can be so deadly because of the precise reason that it can go unnoticed for decades. Every year, there are about 3,000 new mesothelioma diagnoses in the United States. Unfortunately, since mesothelioma’s diagnosis rate is not as high as that of other types of cancer, a lot of misinformation surrounds mesothelioma legal claims. Misconceptions about mesothelioma legal claims can cause people to make decisions that may not be in their best interests.

Below are four common myths about mesothelioma legal claims.

Myth #1: An Individual Can Wait as Long as They Want to Begin the Legal Process

The fight for presumptive coverage of cancer continues as North Carolina remains the only state in the country that does not extend this right to firefighters who put their lives on the line each time they suit up and are potentially exposed to a whole host of cancer-causing carcinogens. While the state does extend certain benefits to surviving family members of firefighters who pass away from one of four listed cancers, North Carolina does not pay for medical coverage of the affected firefighter during his or her lifetime, which can leave the victim and his or her family with extraordinary medical bills.

Across the state, North Carolina firefighter groups are lobbying state lawmakers to expand workers’ compensation benefits for firefighters who contract certain forms of cancer and for that diagnosis to be presumed to have been caused due to exposure to toxic chemicals while in the line of service. In 2019, the North Carolina house of representatives passed one such bill that would label nine forms of cancer, including mesothelioma, as occupational diseases and would have provided medical coverage to those affected under North Carolina’s existing Workers’ Compensation Act.

However, the state senate ultimately blocked the bill and has maintained that it as a chamber is opposed to expanding workers’ compensation benefits in the state. Despite the changing situational realities that firefighters face when they rush into burning buildings to save those trapped inside, North Carolina legislators continue to put up barriers to benefits that would help ensure that brave first responders have their healthcare needs taken care of when they receive a devastating cancer diagnosis.

A New York state court recently issued an important ruling in an asbestos cancer lawsuit preventing one of the defendants from attempting to have itself removed from the case and potentially escape liability for its role in the victim’s cancer diagnosis. With the court’s ruling, defendant retailer Lot Less will remain as a defendant to the case while the plaintiff proceeds with the information gathering phase of the litigation in order to establish exactly what the business knew about the safety of the products it sold to consumers like the victim in this case.

According to the mesothelioma cancer lawsuit, filed in the Supreme Court of New York County in 2018, the now deceased plaintiff developed malignant mesothelioma cancer from years of using Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder, which was contaminated with deadly asbestos fibers. The plaintiff contends that not only Johnson & Johnson should be held liable for manufacturing the carcinogenic talc-based product, but also retailer Lot Less for selling the product to consumers like the victim. Other defendants named in the case included Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Cyprus Amax Minerals Company, and Whittaker Clark & Daniels.

In its motion for summary judgment, Lot Less argued that the family of the victim, who brought the suit on her behalf, had not yet proven that the Johnson & Johnson product in question actually contained asbestos. Further, the company argued that sellers of defective products generally have an implied right to indemnification, that is that they cannot be held liable for legally selling a product that a manufacturer produced. Fortunately for the plaintiff, the judge hearing the case determined that it would be premature to remove Lot Less from the case since the underlying liability had not yet been established.

A long running lawsuit brought by the state of Mississippi against pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson may proceed, after the state supreme court refused to side with the company in its bid to toss the claim involving allegations that it violated state laws concerning labeling of its talc-based products. Specifically, the lawsuit brought by Mississippi’s attorney general claimed that Johnson & Johnson failed to disclose possible health risks associated with using the company’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower talcum powder products which the company faces an avalanche of litigation in federal and state courts across the country.

According to the lawsuit, filed in Hinds County Chancery Court in 2014, Johnson & Johnson violated Mississippi’s Consumer Protection Act when the company failed to include labels on its talcum powder products displaying a warning of the possible links between using talc-based products and developing ovarian cancer. The state’s attorney general’s lawsuit sought an injunction to force Johnson & Johnson to include warnings on talcum powder product labels and enforce violations with fines up to $10,000.

After the state filed its preliminary lawsuit in county court, Johnson & Johnson asked the court to toss out the lawsuit. After the chancery court refused to do so in December 2018, the company appealed to a state appellate court to do the same, but was met with a similar denial. Johnson & Johnson subsequently went to the state’s highest court for yet another dismissal, arguing that labeling requirements on its cosmetics products are preempted by federal laws and the state therefore had no authority to require the company include the types of warning labels the matter pertained to.

The effects of COVID-19 have been felt across nearly every facet of life in America, and the courts have certainly been no exception. With health and safety protocols limiting in-person gatherings, many individuals seeking justice through the courts have had their hearings and trials seemingly inevitably delayed until the United States is able to bring the virus under control in order to resume our way of life. However, some have been fortunate in that their cases have been able to continue with relatively modest delay, as in the case of a Minnesota factory worker whose trial is finally scheduled to take place in May 2021.

According to the asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in Ramsey County District Court in 2019, the now deceased plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer in December 2018, and caused due to his exposure to carcinogenic asbestos fibers from his years of working the the Conwed Corporation’s mineral board plant in Cloquet, Minn. According to media reports, the city of Cloquet has a mesothelioma cancer death rate that is 36% higher than anywhere else in the state of Minnesota, and the rate of diagnosis is up to 70 times higher than the average. The report goes on to state that lung cancer screenings have shown that at least 30% of Condwed’s former employees surveyed have developed mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer that usually affects vital organs such as the lungs, heart, and abdominal cavity. Developing the disease is directly associated with exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was once used in a variety of commercial, industrial, and military applications for its heat resistant properties and ability to be molded to fit a variety of uses. Conwed Corporation allegedly used asbestos in the construction of its mineral board products at the Cloquet plant from 1958 until 1974, the time period during which the deceased plaintiff was employed at the facility.

A California appeals court recently upheld a substantial multimillion dollar jury verdict awarded to a husband and wife who claimed that the defendant caused the husband’s rare and deadly form of cancer from exposure to asbestos containing products manufactured by the company. In their verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, the California state jury awarded the husband over $14 million for his economic damages, as well as his pain and suffering, and an additional $1 million to his wife for her loss of consortium. The defendant, J-M Manufacturing, appealed the jury’s verdict in the hopes of having the verdict and the awards tossed.

According to the asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2018, the husband plaintiff was employed as a construction worker and supervision during the 1970s and 1980s. During that time, according to the lawsuit, he was frequently exposed to asbestos fibers in cement pipes manufactured and sold by J-M Manufacturing. As a result of this exposure to asbestos containing products over nearly two decades, the plaintiff developed a rare and deadly form of lung cancer called mesothelioma.

After a trial spanning October and November 2018, the Los Angeles County jury awarded the plaintiff and his wife over $15 million in compensatory damages for their past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. Additionally, the jury saw fit to award the plaintiffs an additional $15 million in punitive damages, which are a special type of award handed down in circumstances where it can be established that a defendant acted with an much more egregious level of negligence.

A federal judge in Maine recently denied a defendant’s request to have a mesothelioma cancer lawsuit tossed out on the grounds that the company could not have known about dangerous working conditions alleged by the victim, ruling that the question of foreseeability of injuries should be left for a jury to decide at trial. The defendant, Maine Central Railroad, claimed that it could not have known the victim worked in an environment contaminated with asbestos and therefore could not be held responsible for the victim’s asbestos cancer diagnosis.

According to the plaintiff’s mesothelioma cancer lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maine under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, the victim operated the Carlton Bridge which connects a railroad line over the Kennebec River between Bath and Woolwich, Maine, which was owned by the defendant. The plaintiff alleged that the walls of the control room, engine room, and operating room of the bridge would shake when trains passed over it and would create dust in his work station.

The plaintiff’s mesothelioma cancer lawsuit asserted that asbestos containing products were used throughout the construction of the bridge and the areas which the victims worked during his tenure with the company, which was the source of his exposure to asbestos fibers. The victim further pointed to an asbestos inspection and abatement program that Maine Central Railroad initiated in 1984 during the twilight years of the plaintiff’s employment company to show that asbestos was eventually detected in his work areas.

A virtual mesothelioma cancer trial recently got underway via Zoom in a Washington state court with each side presenting their opening arguments to the 16 person jury in Seattle. King County, Wash., is one of the most active jurisdictions in the country when it comes to virtual hearings during coronavirus pandemic. The judge presiding over the case did so from her courtroom, while all the other parties logged into Zoom from their remote locations.

According to the mesothelioma cancer lawsuit , filed in Superior Court of Washington for King County, the plaintiff worked as a boiler worker in a shipyard replacing asbestos containing parts manufactured by Alabama-based Pryor-Giggey Co., a refractory company acquired by Allied Mineral Products Inc. in 2017. The plaintiff performed boiler upgrades on U.S. Navy ships, which involved removing and replacing asbestos-containing castable refractory named Lite-Wate, a heat-resistant material that lines the inside of the boiler.

The victim asserts that in the course of ripping out and replacing these asbestos containing refractories, a large amount of dust was created, and that it contained asbestos fibers which he would routinely inhale during the course of his daily work at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard during the 1970’s. The mesothelioma cancer lawsuit goes on to state that the dangers of asbestos exposure had already been well known in the industry by then, but the defendant continued to use the carcinogenic product in its parts supplied to shipyards.

Contact Information