(Updated April 18, 2018)
Asbestos, a highly carcinogenic mineral, was commonly used by corporations until it was regulated in the 1970s. Though its use has sharply declined since then, it is still legal in the US., and its effects are still being felt by the thousands who are diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases each year.
Mesothelioma, a fatal form of lung cancer, is the deadliest consequence of asbestos exposure. Ten thousand Americans die from the disease every year.
Mesothelioma sufferers have received millions of dollars from asbestos manufacturers.
What makes mesothelioma especially distressing is that corporations knew for years that asbestos caused cancer, yet they continued to use asbestos.
Mesothelioma sufferers and their loved ones are fighting back in court and receiving compensation for their suffering. It’s predicted that asbestos litigation will soon reach $200 to $265 billion in total compensation.
Click below for a free PDF guide to mesothelioma, its effects, and how a lawsuit can help. Contact us if you think you have a case.
A.O. Smith Corp., Burnham Commercial (2018) — $60 Million
In April 2018, a Manhattan jury awarded $60 million to the children and girlfriend of Pietro Macaluso, a construction worker who demolished buildings in Brooklyn in the 1970s and '80s. Before his death from mesothelioma in 2016, Mr. Macaluso filed the lawsuit against the companies that erected the buildings: A.O. Smith Corp., Burnham Commercial, and Peerless.
Mr. Macaluso's girlfriend, Mary Murphy-Clagett, will split the award with the plaintiff's 11-year-old twins. Ms. Murphy-Clagett told The New York Post, "Pietro was a great man and nobody should have to go through what he went through... I'm glad justice was served."
Vanderbilt Minerals, Imerys Talc (2017) — $22.17 Million
A jury in California found Vanderbilt Minerals and Imerys Talc responsible for Richard Booker's mesothelioma. The manufacturers supplied Mr. Booker's employer, Dexter-Midland Chemical Co., with talc which he used in his occupation as a paintmaker. The talc contained asbestos which later caused him to develop mesothelioma.
Sadly, Mr. Booker passed away from mesothelioma at the age of 72. The jury awarded his family $17.57 million in compensatory damages, and hit Vanderbilt and Imerys with $4.6 million in punitive damages. Altogether, the verdict totaled $22.17 million.
New England Insulation (2017) — $7.55 Million & $6.8 Million
On September 20, 2017, a Boston jury awarded $7.55 million to Gerald Sylvestre, a man who worked in a New England Insulation plant that installed asbestos until the early 1970s. Mr. Sylvestre was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2015.
"No one should have to go through this illness, and I particularly hate the suffering it has caused my family, especially because it could have been prevented,” Mr. Sylvestre said. “My wife and I were very happy with the verdict, but what meant the most was that we got to tell our story and the jury heard it and responded as they did."
Less than two weeks later, a Boston jury hit New England Insulation with a $6.8 million verdict. This award went to the family of an insulator named Timothy Ross, who passed away from mesothelioma in August 2013.
Hillshire Brands (2017) — $13 Million
In September 2017, a California jury awarded $13 million to the family of Mark Lopez, who passed away from mesothelioma in July 2015. Mr. Lopez grew up near the Union City Sugar Refinery (owned by Hillshire Bands), and both his father and grandfather worked at the factory. Companies can be held liable for take-home mesothelioma.
Hillshire employees allegedly worked with asbestos on a regular basis, and without taking safety precautions. The jury found that Hillshire Brands was completely at fault for wrongful death, but the company plans to appeal the decision.
Napa, Genuine Parts Co. (2017) — $82 Million
Jerry "Doy" Coogan regularly used Napa and Genuine auto parts for his car restoration hobby. Sadly, the brakes and gaskets he used contained asbestos, eventually resulting in his mesothelioma diagnosis and untimely death in 2015.
Mr. Coogan was survived by his wife, Gerri, who filed a lawsuit against the sister companies. In April 2017, a Washington jury found Napa and Genuine auto parts responsible for Mr. Coogan's mesothelioma, and issued an $82 million verdict.
American Optical Corporation (2016) — $32 Million
American Optical Corporation (AOC) didn’t use asbestos in any of their products, but they failed to protect workers from exposure. AOC concealed the fact that their respirators did not protect from asbestos exposure, lulling many workers into a false sense of security while handling the dangerous mineral.
Former machinist Louis William Tyler was an unfortunate victim of the company’s negligence. Mr. Tyler was diagnosed with mesothelioma after years of handling asbestos with inadequate protection. The California jury hit AOC with a $32 million verdict.
Garlock Sealing Technologies (2016) — $480 Million
EnPro Industries, the owner of Garlock Sealing Technologies, proposed a bankruptcy trust fund in 2016 that would compensate Garlock’s current and future asbestos claimants. The pipeline sealer formerly used asbestos in their gaskets.
If approved, the mesothelioma fund would reach $480 million, permanently resolving the company’s asbestos litigation.
Specialty Products (2014) — $800 Million
Faced with 15,000 asbestos-related lawsuits, Specialty Products filed for bankruptcy in May 2010. The company’s plaster, cement, and roof coatings contained asbestos, causing thousands of mesothelioma diagnoses.
In 2014, their parent company RPM International established a mesothelioma compensation fund worth $800 million.
Pneumo Abex (2014) — $37 Million
In 2013, Gary Hampton was diagnosed with mesothelioma. As a mechanic in the 1970’s, Mr. Hampton was exposed to asbestos dust from brake linings made by Pneumo Abex.
A Tampa jury declared the company was negligent for failing to warn about the dangers of asbestos and manufacturing a dangerous product. Mr. Hampton received $37 million in damages. He previously received a confidential settlement from Ford for their asbestos-tainted brake linings.
Durco International, Crane Co., et al (2013)—$38 Million
Lloyd Strom Garvin was diagnosed with a rare form of testicular cancer caused by mesothelioma. He was exposed to asbestos-tainted gaskets, valves, and pumps while working in a factory and on a farm.
Durco International, Crane Co., and Byron Jackson Pump Co. were found liable for manufacturing the dangerous products Mr. Garvin used, and were collectively hit with a $38 million verdict.
Burnham, Cleaver-Brooks (2013) — $30 Million
Burnham and Cleaver-Brooks exposed American workers to asbestos-tainted boilers. Five tradesmen who worked in steamfitting, plumbing, and construction industries filed a lawsuit against the companies after being diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Both companies were found guilty of negligently and recklessly exposing workers to asbestos, and were hit with a combined $30 million verdict.
U.S. Steel (2003) — $250 Million
After working at U.S. Steel’s Gary, Indiana plant for 30 years, Roby Whittington developed mesothelioma. The company used asbestos in their insulation.
The jury hit U.S. Steel with a $250 million verdict—$50 million in compensation and $200 million in punitive damages. At the time, it was the largest single award in asbestos litigation.
Halliburton (2002) — $4 Billion
In 2002, Halliburton paid $4 billion in cash and stock to settle 300,000 asbestos claimants and future claimants. The Dallas-based oil company inherited the majority of the lawsuits when they acquired Dresser Industries four years earlier.
Union Carbide, United States Gypsum, et. al. (2000) — $160 Million
In 2000, 18 leading asbestos manufacturers, including Union Carbide and United States Gypsum (USG), agreed to settle 4,000 asbestos-related personal injury claims filed in Mississippi court. Altogether, the asbestos manufacturers paid $160 million to claimants.
Shortly after, USG declared bankruptcy. In total, they paid more than $450 million in asbestos litigation.
The Manville Corporation (1988) — $4.3 Billion
Manville's compensation fund has paid $4.3 billion to claimants.
The Manville Corporation was one of the leading asbestos manufacturers of its time. When they declared bankruptcy in 1982, they were the largest and richest company to ever do so.
In 1988, they established the first asbestos compensation trust fund. As of 2013, the fund had paid $4.3 billion to claimants.
We Will Fight for You
Mesothelioma is a fatal form of cancer that has devastated countless families across America. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be owed money.
Contact us for a free, no-obligation case review. Our legal team will answer any questions you may have about filing a lawsuit.