A Philadelphia couple has been awarded more than $6.4 million over a claim that asbestos exposure caused the husband to develop lung cancer that has spread to his brain.
The lawsuit was filed by William and Jacqueline Roverano in 2014 against John Crane Inc. and Brand Insulation Inc. William Roverano was a former PECO Energy employee who worked for the company from 1971 to 1997 as a carpenter and indicates that he was exposed to products containing asbestos until 1980, such as packing material and thermal installation.
Roverano was diagnosed with lung cancer in November 2013. It has since spread to his brain and his prognosis is poor even after chemotherapy, radiation,and Cyberknife radiation treatment. The lawsuit indicated that the cancer was caused by his exposure to asbestos while working with boilers, gaskets, turbines, generators, pipe coverings and packing materials.
On Wednesday, April 14, a jury in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas agreed that the two companies were liable, and awarded him $5.2 million in damages, and $1.25 million to his wife for loss of consortium following a six-day trial.
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 lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma, that do not surface until decades after exposure. Given the long latency period between exposure to the substance and the development of mesothelioma, asbestos exposure continues to cause up to 15,000 deaths each year.
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 lung cancer, mesothelioma or other related injuries that were allegedly caused by inhaling asbestos fibers.
While asbestos cancer lawsuits have traditionally been filed by individuals who worked with asbestos-containing products, an increasing number of secondary asbestos exposure cases have been brought in recent years on behalf of spouses, children and other family members who developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses after breathing asbestos fibers brought home in the hair or on the clothing of individuals who worked directly with the material.