California Mesothelioma Lawsuit Results in $8.6M Award for Wrongful Death

A California jury has awarded $8.6 million in damages to the family of a deceased refinery worker who died from mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos on the job.  

According to allegations raised at trial in during the asbestos wrongful death lawsuit, William Saller died in February 2006, after developing mesothelioma, which is a rare form of cancer that is caused breathing asbestos fibers. Saller was exposed to the toxic substance while working with pipe insulation manufactured by Crown Cork & Seal Company.

The former marine worked for Standard Oil’s El Segundo refinery for more than seven years, where the exposure allegedly occurred.

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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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The family originally lost its lawsuit against the Crown in 2007, but the defense verdict was overturned on appeal.

Following a retrial that concluded on December 13, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury found Crown to be 30% responsible for $5 million in compensatory damages and 100% responsible for $3.6 million in punitive damages.

Mesothelioma is a lethal disease that is often at a very advanced stage when a diagnosis is made, resulting in a very short life-expectancy.

Litigation over mesothelioma and other injuries caused by exposure to asbestos have been on-going for decades, with more than 600,000 people having filed a lawsuit against more than 6,000 defendants after being diagnosed with injuries that were allegedly caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. The complaints all involve similar allegations that companies that manufactured or used asbestos-based products failed to adequately warn about the health risks for workers or to take adequate steps to protect them from exposure.

In addition to claims for workers exposed to asbestos, in recent years there have been a growing number of mesothelioma lawsuits are brought following second hand exposure, with wives, children and other family members alleging they 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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