Mesothelioma Lawsuit Results in $27.3M Award for Wife of Insulator

A jury has awarded $27.3 million in damages to the wife of an insulator who was diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while washing her husband’s clothes over a number of years.

The mesothelioma lawsuit was filed by 82-year old Rose-Marie Grigg and her current husband, Martin, alleging that an insulation manufacturer knew that products used several decades ago were dangerous and failed to adequately warn about the second-hand risks posed by exposure to asbestos fibers.

According to allegations raised at trial, Grigg’s late husband used Kaylo brand insulation made by Owens-Illinois, Inc. while he worked as an insulator during the 1950s. As a result of asbestos contained in the products, fibers were carried home on his work clothes, which caused Rose-Marie Grigg to develop mesothelioma years later.

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Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Exposure to asbestos can cause the development of mesothelioma. Lawsuits have been filed nationwide against asbestos manufacturers.

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Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, which is only known to be caused by exposure to asbestos and breathing asbestos fibers.  It is a lethal disease that is often at a very advanced stage when a diagnosis is made, resulting in a very short life-expectancy.

During the trial, documents indicated that the company knew from testing that Kaylo could cause fatal health problems from asbestos exposure, and that the company knew about the risks of asbestos since the 1930s.

A jury in Alemeda County Superior Court in California awarded the Griggs $27,342,500, finding that Owens-Illinois, Inc. failed to adequately warn about the risks of asbestos exposure, manufactured a defective product, was negligent, and acted with malice, oppression or fraud. The verdict included $11 million in punitive damages against the company.

Asbestos was widely used in a variety of manufacturing and construction applications throughout the last century, with use peaking in 1973. Most uses of asbestos were banned in the mid-1980s.

Mesothelioma litigation is the longest-running mass tort in U.S. history, with more than 600,000 people having filed a lawsuit against more than 6,000 defendants after being diagnosed with cancer that was allegedly caused by inhaling asbestos fibers.

In recent years, a growing number of juries have awarded damages for second-hand asbestos exposure after family members were exposed to asbestos carried home on clothing or in the hair of individuals working with the material. Cases have been brought by wives, as well as young children exposed as babies when their father held them after returning home.


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