Mesothelioma lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report of a recent mesothelioma lawsuit in Philadelphia. The case was filed against Owens-Illinois, to which the jury assigned 100% liability for the death of an 84-year-old mesothelioma victim.
The man’s estate argued that he was exposed to Owen-Illinois’ Kaylo pipe insulation for a number of years while working in the construction industry. Owns-Illinois is a Fortune 500 company specializing in glass container products, and is one of the world’s largest packaging manufacturers.
Kaylo was the brand name of asbestos pipe and boiler insulation products that Owens-Illinois produced between 1948 and 1958, when it was sold to Owens Corning. Owens Corning was a faction of Owens-Illinois, and continued to manufacture and distribute Kaylo until 1972. Because of this, Owens-Illinois has been named as the defendant in many asbestos-related lawsuits.
This first Owens-Illinois asbestos case was filed in 1981, and since then, the company has settled more than 200,000 asbestos-related lawsuits. In 2011, a former construction worker named Charles Gillenwater sued Owens-Illinois, Honeywell International, Pneumo Abex, and John Crane, Inc. for knowingly exposing him and his co-workers to asbestos. Gillenwater was a pipefitter by trade, and argued that the companies had evidence in their possession that proved they were aware of the dangers of asbestos exposure. The jury awarded him $90 million in damages.
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Gillenwater’s argument was proven true when it was revealed that, as early as 1948, Owens-Illinois researchers had documented experiments detailing the effects of Kaylo dust in guinea pigs. The researchers exposed the guinea pigs to the dust for 30 months, and found clearly identifiable proof of asbestosis in the animals. The Kaylo products were made with about 15% asbestos, and were some of the most popular insulation products in the U.S. until 1972.
Asbestos exposure is not limited to the construction industry, however. In February 2008, the family of a New Jersey man filed a lawsuit against General Motors. The man died of mesothelioma at age 50, which his family believed was caused by “take-home” exposure to asbestos. Growing up, the man’s brother and father both worked at a local GM plant. Asbestos fibers are invisible to the naked eye, and often cling to the clothing of factory workers. If those employees wear their work clothes home, they potentially can expose everyone else in the household to asbestos as well. Since mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses take decades to develop, it was likely that the man was exposed to asbestos at a young age and mesothelioma slowly developed throughout his lifetime, ultimately taking his life at age 50.The jury agreed with this, and awarded his estate more than $30 million.
The largest verdict for a single asbestos plaintiff was just recently awarded to a retired U.S. Steel worker from Indiana. The man worked at the Gary Works plant for over thirty years, from 1950 to 1981, and was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2001. The 70-year-old man was ultimately awarded $250 million.
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Asbestos litigation in the United States shows no signs of slowing down soon. On February 18, 2013, Chevron Corp was ordered to pay Colorado landowners $40 million for contaminating their land with asbestos. The environmental class action lawsuit requires Chevron to pay more than $32 million in cash to the landowners and $7.5 million for remedial cleanup and testing efforts.
Asbestos cases are so significant because the companies at fault knew about and concealed the dangers of asbestos exposure for decades. Companies like Chevron knowingly disposed of asbestos waste into surrounding environments, putting the public in grave danger of asbestos poisoning.
If you or someone you love was exposed to asbestos and developed a related illness, you too may be entitled to compensation. Asbestos exposure lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm and our knowledgeable investigators can guide you through the legal process, help you determine how and when you were exposed to asbestos, and assist you in obtaining maximum compensation for your suffering.