A New York state appellate court recently upheld the verdict in an asbestos cancer lawsuit brought by a widower on behalf of his deceased wife who claimed that the defendant in the case was responsible for her diagnosis of terminal cancer caused by exposure to mesothelioma. The defendant, Federal Mogul Asbestos Personal Injury Trust, as Successor to Felt Products Manufacturers, had appealed the jury’s award at trial, which handed down a substantial $75 million verdict on behalf of the plaintiff.
The lawsuit against the entity representing Felt Products Manufacturers, filed in a New York City Asbestos Court, claimed that the victim developed mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos containing Fel-Pro gaskets manufactured by the defendant. The mesothelioma cancer lawsuit claimed that the victim regularly helped her husband remove and change asbestos containing engine gaskets from their vehicles and from taking her and her husband’s dusty clothes into their laundry room to clean.
The jury hearing the case at trial awarded damages of $50 million to the victim for pain and suffering, $40 million for past and $10 million for future; and $25 million to her husband for loss of consortium, $15 million for past, $10 million for future. In appealing that award, the defendant asserted that it was excessive and was unwarranted based on the evidence presented at trial. In hearing the appeal, the Supreme Court of the State of New York County of New York vastly reduced the amount of the award, to $12 million for past and $4 million for future pain and suffering for the victim; and for loss of services to $1 million for past, and $250,000 for future damages for her husband.
Defendants again appealed to the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, challenging the amount of the award. In its decision, the Appellate Division reduced the plaintiff’s award to a total of $10.4 million, $4 million for the plaintiff’s future pain and suffering and $250,000 for future loss of consortium, as well as $5.5 million for his past pain and suffering and $650,000 for past loss of consortium.
While this case took years to litigate, the end result was a positive one for the plaintiff and his deceased wife, who were able to hold the defendant accountable for its negligent actions and secure a multimillion dollar verdict. Further, the case shows the lengths to which negligent asbestos companies will go in order to deny, delay, and defendant otherwise meritorious claims, despite evidence showing their products were a causal relationship between the victim’s exposure to asbestos and diagnosis with mesothelioma.
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If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment.