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Wisconsin Jury Orders Company to Pay $26.5 Million to Family of Mesothelioma Victim

Most juries spend weeks hearing evidence about how a victim developed mesothelioma and debating whether negligence played a part in the victim developing the disease. However, unlike most juries who disagree on evidence and whether negligence was involved, the Wisconsin jury in a recently decided mesothelioma case disagreed on the amount of compensation to be awarded to the victim’s family. While in the end, the jury members agreed that Pabst should pay the victim’s family more than $26 million, two of the jury members disagreed, arguing that the company should be made to pay much more.

The family of the mesothelioma victim, a grandfather who worked at Pabst Blue Ribbon’s Milwaukee Brewery, initiated the lawsuit. During his time at Pabst, the mesothelioma victim was exposed to asbestos. Pabst Blue Ribbon’s Milwaukee Brewery employed the mesothelioma victim in the 1970s. It was during those years that the dangers of asbestos and its role in mesothelioma became well known. But, despite Pabst knowing the dangers of asbestos and its role in mesothelioma, the company did not take any steps to protect its workers. Pabst even let its workers get exposed to asbestos in the lunchroom. Pabst’s lunchroom was equipped with asbestos-contaminated pipes from which asbestos fell.

Initially, the family accused Pabst Blue Ribbon’s Milwaukee Brewery and Wisconsin Electric (another of the victim’s former employers) of failing to provide its workers with a safe working environment. After the original claim was filed, Wisconsin Electric decided to settle the case outside the court. On the other hand, Pabst insisted on going to court. The company argued against its own responsibility, which angered the jury.

Pabst Claims Ignorance of Asbestos Dangers in Mesothelioma Case

According to Pabst’s attorneys, the company’s safety officers were not aware of the dangers of asbestos, claiming that instead of reading peer-reviewed published literature, they were reading about brewing beer. This argument against Pabst’s responsibility angered the jury, who then decided that the company was to pay $26.5 million to the victim’s family. The jury awarded the family $6.545 million in actual damages and $20 million in punitive damages. Ten jury members agreed that the amount was enough, but two disagreed, claiming that Pabst should pay much more. The jury members who disagreed with the others wanted Pabst to pay much more to send a message that companies should settle asbestos cases outside court instead of forcing victims to go to court.

Importance of Compensation in Mesothelioma Cases

Compensation such as the one awarded in the above case can ease a mesothelioma patient’s family’s financial burden. Mesothelioma requires aggressive treatments from specialized physicians. It is estimated that a mesothelioma patient will owe more than $400,000 in medical bills during their first year of treatment. Generally, it is quite expensive to treat mesothelioma, and courts understand this too well.

Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers           

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties.

 

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