A Philadelphia mesothelioma lawsuit has resulted in a $1.7 million award following the death of a man who developed mesothelioma cancer after on the job asbestos exposure.
The plaintiff in this case was 72 years old when he received a mesothelioma diagnosis in January 2012. Like 6 in 10 mesothelioma patients, the man passed away in a matter of months, losing his fight with this aggressive form of lung cancer in July 2012.
Medical diagnostic testing and other evidence revealed that the plaintiff had at least two other asbestos diseases: pleural thickening and pleural plaques. Both are conditions that have been definitively linked to asbestos exposure.
Following a three week trial, the jury in the case ruled that the defendant, The ESAB Group, Inc., and its subsidiary, Alloy Rods of Hanover, PA, was negligent. The company was ordered to pay a sum of $1.7 million to the widow of the company’s former employee. A sum of $1 million was awarded to the man’s widow and a sum of $700,000 was awarded to the deceased man’s estate.
Defense in Mesothelioma Lawsuit Argues Product Liability
It’s notable that the jury did not find evidence of negligence on the part of Ross Ovens, which had manufactured a number of the ovens that were utilized by The ESAB Group.
The defense had argued that this was a case of product liability, arguing that the ovens were directly related to the man’s on-the-job asbestos exposure. Attorneys for The ESAB Group attempted to make a case that Ross Ovens should instead be held liable. The jury disagreed.
A Groundbreaking Mesothelioma Lawsuit in PA
This case, Busbey v. ESAB Group, is significant not only for the significant jury award but also because it marks the first asbestos lawsuit that has gone to trial in Pennsylvania. This significant jury award came on the heels of a notable ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which only recently determined that employees exposed to asbestos on the job can now pursue an asbestos lawsuit against a former employer.
Previously, Pennsylvania companies could only be held liable under the Workers’ Compensation Act, but this new ruling opens the door for asbestos claims that were previously non-viable due to the state’s legislation. Previously, the Workers’ Compensation Act did not provide coverage for so-called “occupational diseases” — diseases and conditions that an individual develops as a result of their profession — that are diagnosed more than 300 weeks after the end of employment.
This piece of legislation simply did not cover asbestos diseases such as mesothelioma, which is a disease that remains in a latency phase for decades. Mesothelioma symptoms and a definitive diagnosis typically occur anywhere from 20 to 50 years (or longer) after exposure — far beyond the 300 week mark.
If you or a loved one developed mesothelioma or another illness from asbestos exposure, you need an experienced mesothelioma lawyer who can file a claim on your behalf. It’s important to take action immediately because the statute of limitations places a cap on how long you have to file an asbestos lawsuit.
So if you wish to file an asbestos or mesothelioma lawsuit or require help to seek out asbestos compensation from one of the many trust funds, you’re urged to call Mesowatch to get connected will experienced mesothelioma lawyers are ready to provide you with a free and confidential case evaluation.