Despite the ever increasing number of asbestos manufacturers who have filed for bankruptcy and the dwindling funds available to pay asbestos related claims, asbestos manufacturers are being found liable and continue to be ordered to pay expenses and damages to their victims.
On Wednesday May 11th, 2011 a jury from Mississippi’s Smith County awarded Thomas Brown Jr. the biggest asbestos verdict in U.S. history. The jury decided that Union Carbide and Chevron Phillips Chemical were both liable for designing a defective product and for failing to warn their employees. They were ordered to pay $322 million by the jury to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
(Thomas Brown Jr. v. Phillips 66, et al., No. N/A, Miss. Cir., Smith Co.).
In April of 2011, Charles Gillenwater, a 59-year-old pipe fitter, was awarded $90 million by a jury in Bloomington, Ill. The plaintiff accused 4 companies for causing him to contract mesothelioma, a deadly lung disease caused by exposure to asbestos. He was awarded compensatory damages of $9.6 million against Honeywell International Inc., Pneumo Abex, Owens-Illinois Inc. and John Crane Inc; punitive damages of $20 million against Honeywell, Peneumo Abex and $40 million against Owens-Illinois.
(Charles Gillenwater v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 10 L 117, Ill. Cir., McLean Co.)
Last March, John Casey, a retired plumber in California was awarded $41 million by a jury in a mesothelioma lawsuit against Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc. and FDCC California. The jury in San Francisco decided that the company was negligent and failed to warn its employees that exposure to asbestos dust and fibers could lead to mesothelioma and could be fatal. They awarded him around $20 million in economic, non-economic, and loss of consortium damages. In early May they awarded Mr. Casey another $20 million in putative damages in one of the largest asbestos settlements this year. This was after deciding that Kaiser Gypsum acted with malice, one prerequisite for awarding putative damages.
(John Casey, et al. v. Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., San Francisco Superior Court No. CGC-10-275517)
In January, 2011, after a six year bitter dispute, a federal judge has ordered the Travelers insurance group to immediately pay $500 million to victims of asbestos exposure, concluding that a dispute over the enormous settlement “has gone on for too long, especially for those asbestos victims who have yet to be fully compensated”.
Many companies, not just those mentioned above, that manufactured asbestos containing products were aware of the potential harm that could result from the use of their product. As early as the 1920’s up until the mid 1970’s, companies chose to use asbestos without displaying warnings of the potential hazards. These companies share liability. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any asbestos related illness, you may have the right to recover damages against those manufacturers.
Our experienced asbestos litigation law firm of Reyes, O’Shea & Coloca, P.A are committed to the fight for the rights of these individuals who were unknowingly exposed to asbestos and put at risk. Each case is handled individually and given the attention and priority it deserves by our carefully trained legal team.