Asbestos Dangers

Between 1959 and 1966, a man worked at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. According to the man’s lawsuit, the company had many pieces of machinery and products that contained asbestos. He died in August 2013 of mesothelioma. His wife and children then amended the lawsuit to a wrongful death action.

3-Week Trial Ends in Verdict for Plaintiffs

The trial lasted three weeks and was held in the U.S. District Court of Arizona. The federal jury awarded each of the man’s three children $1 million and his widow $6 million. Eight million dollars in punitive damages was also awarded.

There were over 20 defendants in the case, including the U.S. Navy, which was found to be 47 percent responsible in the man’s injuries and death. Crane Co., which is based in Connecticut, was found to be 20 percent responsible. William Powell Company, which is based in Ohio, was found to be 5 percent responsible. The other defendants were found to be 1 percent responsible or had no responsibility at all.

U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Standards Used in Lawsuit

The standards used in asbestos lawsuits are from OSHA for the shipyard employment sectors, general industry and the construction industry. These standards make it mandatory for "employers (to) provide personal exposure monitoring to assess the risk and hazard awareness training for operations where there is any potential exposure to asbestos." These are just a few of the standards in place to protect workers who come into contact, or may come into contact, with asbestos.

Employers Still Held Accountable for Conditions like Asbestosis and Mesothelioma

Family members of those who suffer from asbestosis, mesothelioma or other diseases caused by exposure to asbestos, have a right to seek compensation for their losses. Victims have a right to pursue compensation as well. In many cases, mesothelioma can take decades to appear, which can mean the businesses may have closed by the time the first symptoms make themselves known.

If you believe you may have a case against a company because of your or your loved one’s exposure to asbestos, a local personal injury attorney can provide you with more information.