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Asbestos Exposure Claims Woman’s Life: Jury Delivers Justice

Justice has been served in California, to the tune of $209 million as the result of the blatant negligence of an asbestos manufacturer. In this case, a woman contracted mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. How did she get the disease? From handling her husband’s work clothing.

The jury wasn’t impressed with the company and branded their behavior as flagrantly atrocious; the jurors found that the company knew that asbestos caused cancer but kept manufacturing asbestos pipes. Finally, in 1985, the company placed warnings on them. The jury made specific findings that the woman’s cancer had been caused by the dust on her husband’s work clothes.

The husband worked for the city’s water and power department for over 30 years; he regularly brought home work clothing laden with asbestos dust. This dust coats the protective lining of the lungs and other internal organs over a period of years until cancer is finally diagnosed decades later. Usually, treatment is not effective or successful.

Hopefully, this verdict sends this message to manufacturers: It is not only workers who are being poisoned by their negligent or deliberate conduct. Mesothelioma is a serious killer, with no cure.
The verdict included $8.8 million in compensatory damages $200 million in punitive damages.

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