Mesothelioma From Asbestos Carried Home on Husband’s Clothes Results in $7M Verdict

Ingersoll-Rand was ordered to pay $7 million to the family of a woman who died of mesothelioma from asbestos second hand exposure, indicating that she developed the rare and fatal form of cancer from asbestos fibers brought home on the clothes of her husband, who worked in close proximity to the company’s compressors for years. 

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the family of Myra Williams, who died of mesothelioma.

William’s husband, Jimmy Williams, worked for years at Placid Oil Company, where he and other workers removed insulation and changed gaskets on Ingersoll-Rand compressors, which contained asbestos. At the trial, former workers reported that they could see asbestos fibers in the air while they worked, and that they were never warned about the risks of asbestos.

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The mesothelioma lawsuit filed by Williams’ family alleged that Ingersoll-Rand knew about the risks associated with asbestos since at least the 1950s, and allowed the toxic fibers to be carried home on the clothes of workers

The family alleges that Myra Williams was exposed to asbestos when her husband came home from work, as she would take care of his work clothes and do his laundry, the lawsuit indicated.

Following a trial that ended April 29, the family was awarded $7 million.

Asbestos has been used in a variety of manufacturing and building industries, but most uses in the United States were banned more than 30 years ago. However, asbestos may cause a variety of ailments, such as mesothelioma, that do not surface until decades after exposure.

In 2009, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that the number of asbestos deaths from mesothelioma were continuing to rise, but were expected to have peaked by now as more time passes since the substance was banned.

Asbestos exposure lawsuits have been one of the largest mass-torts in U.S. history, with more than 600,000 people having filed a case against more than 6,000 defendants after being diagnosed with mesothelioma or other related injuries that were allegedly caused by inhaling asbestos fibers.

While mesothelioma lawsuits have traditionally been filed by individuals who worked with asbestos-containing products, an increasing number of secondary exposure mesothelioma cases have been brought in recent years on behalf of spouses, children and other family members who developed the disease after breathing asbestos fibers brought home in the hair or on the clothing of individuals who worked directly with the material.

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