Mesothelioma Settlements / Verdicts
If a mesothelioma victim or their loved one decides to take legal action through a mesothelioma claim in response to their diagnosis, the claim can end with a settlement or with a verdict. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual whether or not to accept a settlement, if one is offered. There are a variety of points to keep in mind when making this decision and when preparing for the legal process.
- A private agreement between two parties, in which one party provides another with compensation in exchange for a release from liability.
- Most asbestos companies will make a low settlement offer early in the lawsuit process.
- The decision to accept a settlement offer always resides with the mesothelioma patient (or their surviving family members).
- Settlements are legally binding and must be paid.
- A legally binding decision by a jury or judge that determines whether a company is liable for a victim’s asbestos exposure.
- If the defendant (asbestos company) is found liable, a separate verdict will determine the amount of compensation they must pay to the plaintiff (mesothelioma patient).
- Verdicts usually end in higher amounts of compensation. However, if the defendant is found not liable, then the plaintiff receives no compensation.
For those questioning whether or not to accept a settlement or continue towards a verdict, there are some factors to keep in mind, including:
- Compensation Amount: For mesothelioma patients who have solid evidence, they may wish to take the case to trial in the hopes of receiving greater compensation.
- Cancer Progression: Individuals with late-stage mesothelioma may accept a settlement that will help them pay for needed cancer treatments now.
- Risk Aversion: Some mesothelioma patients may wish to accept a settlement for a guaranteed amount, rather than risk getting nothing from a jury verdict.
- Strength of Evidence: Asbestos companies may wish to go to trial rather than offer a settlement if they believe that a mesothelioma victim cannot make a good case.
- Timeliness: Settlements typically are paid right away, whereas a verdict award may take years to acquire as the case goes through appeal after appeal.
Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts:
So, if we bragged about our settlements as others do, it would let people figure out which clients got how much, and it would hurt all our future clients because it would reduce the potential for getting them the kinds of settlements we have gotten others in the past.
Since our primary responsibility is to do the very best we can for every client, the decision to forego bragging rights is an easy one. So, while this list might make it look as if we do not do much, it actually demonstrates how well we really do for our clients.
If you have a case, we would be pleased to evaluate it for you and give you our honest and well thought-out assessment of its potential on a private and confidential basis. You can be confident that unless we go to jury verdict, no one will ever know how much we recovered for you.
$117,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for Lifelong User of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder
On April 11, 2018, a Brunswick, New Jersey awarded a historic verdict in the case of Stephen and Kendra Lanzo v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. and Imerys Talc America, Inc.
After a three month trial, the jury found unanimously that Johnson’s Baby Powder contained asbestos during the years of Stephen Lanzo’s use from 1972 to 2003 and that both Johnson Consumer, Inc. and Imerys Talc America, Inc. had failed to adequately warn about this severe health hazard.
The jury awarded punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. in the amount of $55 million, and $25,000 million against Imerys Talc America, Inc. This compensation to Mr. and Mrs. Lanzo was in addition to another $37 million in compensation the same jury awarded for Stephen Lanzo’s asbestos mesothelioma.
$22,100,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for Paint Maker
On November 27, 2017, an Oakland, CA jury in Oakland, CA found Vanderbilt and Imerys negligent and strictly liable for the wrongful death of Richard Booker. Mr. Booker, who died at the age of 72 from mesothelioma, worked for decades as a paint tinter and mixer making paints.
Following a 6-week trial, the jury awarded $17.5 million in compensatory damages to the Booker family, 60% allocated to Vanderbilt, and 40% allocated to Imerys. Vanderbilt settled with the Booker family after the first phase of trial, and before the jury could assess punitive damages as to Vanderbilt. Two weeks later on December 11th, the jury awarded $4.6 million in punitive damages against Imerys. (Booker v. Imerys Talc America, Inc. and Vanderbilt Minerals, LLC, Case No. RG15796166, Superior Court of California, County of Alameda).
$10,000,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for Pipefitter
An Alameda County, California jury awarded a $10 million mesothelioma verdict to Michael and Cindy Burch, represented by Kazan Law in a personal injury case against defendant CertainTeed Corporation. (Michael B. Burch and Cindy Burch v. CertainTeed Corporation, et al., Case No. RG16819332, Alameda County Superior Court)
Mr. Burch was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in May of 2016 at the age of 64. He was exposed to asbestos in the 1970s when he worked as a pipefitter handling asbestos cement (AC) pipe manufactured by CertainTeed. His work involved cutting and beveling AC pipe using various hand tools and a 12-inch abrasive disc saw, which created extremely dusty working conditions. The dust contained the cancer-causing mineral asbestos. Every day, he unknowingly breathed deadly asbestos dust at work and was never warned that the dust could cause him to contract mesothelioma.
$32,800,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for Machinist
A Los Angeles, California jury returned a mesothelioma verdict which found American Optical Corporation substantially responsible for a machinist’s mesothelioma. The jury also found that the respiratory equipment manufacturer knew its product couldn’t prevent dangerous asbestos exposure and hid that fact from purchasers. (William and Becky Tyler v. American Optical Corporation, Case No. BC588866, Los Angeles County Superior Court)
$6,951,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for Boilermaker
An Alameda County, California jury returned a mesothelioma verdict after a six-week trial which found Union Pacific Railroad Company responsible for the suffering and wrongful death of Jeffrey Emerson. Mr. Emerson worked as a boilermaker at the Southern Pacific Railroad from 1971 to 1995. The company merged with Union Pacific in 1997. (Emerson v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., Alameda County Superior Court, Case No. RG-13698637)
$27,342,500 Verdict for Former Wife of Insulator
Owens-Illinois, Inc. is a former manufacturer of KAYLO asbestos-containing thermal pipe insulation. An Oakland, California jury found that Owens-Illinois acted with malice, oppression or fraud when it manufactured a defective product, failed to adequately warn consumers, and concealed the health hazards of its KAYLO products. (Rose-Marie and Martin Grigg v. Owens-Illinois, Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG12629580).
$11,000,000 Asbestos Wrongful Death Verdict Reached for Automotive Parts Man
On January 15, 2014 an Alameda County, California jury returned an $11 million verdict in an asbestos wrongful death suit against Pneumo Abex LLC. A prior jury had found that Pneumo Abex’s asbestos-containing brakes were defective, and that Pneumo Abex negligently, intentionally, and maliciously caused Mr. Bankhead’s mesothelioma. Mr. Bankhead died from the disease at age 68. (Emily Bankhead, Tammy Bankhead, and Debbie Bankhead Meiers v. ArvinMeritor, Inc., et al., Case No. RG12632899, Alameda County Superior Court)
Confidential Mesothelioma Settlement for Airline Pilot
Kazan Law filed suit on behalf of Timothy and Caroline Vest in December 2009 against the manufacturers of the asbestos products he was exposed to, as well as the property owner, tenant, and contractors at the hangar. Kazan Law was able to defeat the defendants’ two attempts to remove the case to Federal Court in Philadelphia. The trial began in February 2012 against Dowman Products, Inc., which manufactured the joint compound used to build and remodel the office spaces at the hangar. The case settled the following week during jury selection. (Timothy and Caroline Vest v. Allied Packing & Supply, Inc., et al., Case No. RG09489518, Alameda County Superior Court )
$5,437,882 Verdict for Leadership Trainer
On November 28, 2012, an Oakland, California jury returned a $5,437,882 verdict for a leadership trainer in his case against Crane Co, a manufacturer of industrial products, liable for a man’s mesothelioma. (Hellam v. Crane Co., Nos. A138013 and A139141, 2014 WL 1492725 Cal. Ct. App., 1st Dist. Apr. 16, 2014)
$6,825,000 Verdict for Career Auto Mechanic
On November 19, 2012, an Alameda County jury in Hayward, California returned a $6,825,000 verdict against Ford Motor Company for a career auto mechanic. The jury found Ford Motor Company guilty of defectively designed products, failure to warn of product defect, and negligence. (Patrick Scott and Sharon Scott v. Allied Packing & Supply, Ford Motor Company, et al, Alameda County Superior Court No. RG12613671)
$17,400,000 Two-Phase Mesothelioma Verdict for Heavy Duty Parts Man
On January 6, 2011 an Alameda County jury returned a $13.5 million second phase verdict assessing punitive damages against Pnuemo Abex LLC ($9 million) and Arvin Meritor/Rockwell ($4.5 million). In the first phase of the trial, completed on December 22, the jury awarded $3.9 million in compensatory damages, and found that the defendants, Pneumo Abex, Arvin Meritor and co-defendant Carlisle Corporation (which resolved before Phase 2), acted with malice, fraud and oppression, warranting the second phase determination. (Gordon and Emily Bankhead v. Allied Packing & Supply, Inc., et al, Case No. RG10502243, Alameda County Superior Court )
Confidential Settlement for Construction Laborer
Donald Osterberg was diagnosed with mesothelioma in February 2010. Kazan Law filed suit on behalf of Mr. Osterberg in May 2010 and the trial began in January 2011. Evidence at trial showed that J.T. Thorpe & Son, Inc., the remaining defendant at trial, did not follow California’s Dust Fumes and Vapors Safety Regulations, and knew that its employees’ work of cutting, sanding, mixing and discarding asbestos-containing insulation products released toxic dust that was inhaled by its workers and others who were working in the vicinity. The evidence showed that J. T. Thorpe & Son could have protected all workers present by following the state safety regulations to isolate its workers, use wet down procedures, and provide respirators. The evidence showed that J.T. Thorpe & Son, Inc. did not warn anyone at the Moss Landing site about the dangers of breathing asbestos dust. (Donald Osterberg v. Allied Packing & Supply, Inc., et al. (2011), Case No. RG10515625, Alameda County Superior Court)
$5,482,048 Mesothelioma Verdict for Machinist with At-Home and Employment Exposure
On November 18, 2010, an Oakland jury returned a verdict of $5,482,047.54 against RSCC Wire & Cable, Inc. (“RSCC”), the manufacturer and supplier of Rockbestos asbestos insulated wire and cable products. The jury also found that RSCC acted with malice and oppression, requiring an additional phase of the trial to determine a punitive damages amount. Shortly after the second phase of the trial began, the case was resolved to the parties’ mutual satisfaction. (Ronald Merrill Ricker and Suzanna Ricker v. RSCC Wire & Cable, Inc., Case No. RG10496251, Alameda County Superior Court)
$10,038,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for Welder
Ulysses Collins died of mesothelioma at the age of sixty-five. He was a welder at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard from 1960-1973, a welder/boilermaker at Standard Oil in Richmond, California from 1973-1976, and a welder at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California from 1976-1994. The case resolved before trial with various defendants and proceeded to trial only against Plant Insulation. Plant was the exclusive Northern California supplier of asbestos-containing thermal insulation manufactured by Pabco/Fibreboard in Emeryville, California. Plant was also an insulation contractor at numerous industrial and commercial sites in Northern California. (Ulysses Collins and Cloristeen Collins v. Plant Insulation Company, Case No. RG04143303, Alameda County Superior Court)
$4,055,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for Automobile Servicean
On March 25, 2009, a Los Angeles jury returned a verdict of $4,055,000 against Pneumo Abex LLC for Robert and Mary Lou Smith. (Robert Frank Smith and Mary Lou Smith v. Pneumo Abex LLC, No. BC396072, Los Angeles County Superior Court Docket)
$20,000,000+ Mesothelioma Verdict for Family Home Asbestos Exposure
On June 4, 2002, an Alameda County Superior Court jury returned a verdict in excess of $20 million for Karen and Jeffrey Peterson. Total responsibility (100 percent) for Ms. Peterson’s mesothelioma was assessed against Hill Brothers Chemical Company, a Southern California chemical company that is based in Orange, California. The jury also found that defendant Hill Brothers Chemical’s conduct was undertaken with malice, oppression or fraud, requiring an additional phase of the trial to determine an amount of punitive damages. Hill Brothers Chemical avoided this phase by making an undisclosed settlement award. (Karen Peterson and Jeffrey Peterson v. Hill Brothers Chemical Company, Alameda County Superior Court 2001-031817)
$11,500,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for Construction Project Estimator
An Alameda County jury entered an $11,500,000 verdict for a Martinez, California former construction project estimator based on his career exposure to asbestos-containing products, particularly cement-asbestos board. Eternit, Inc., the only remaining defendant at trial, was apportioned roughly $2,500,000 in liability based on the design defect, failure to warn and negligent supply of their enameled cement asbestos board, Glasweld and Flexweld. (Don Lee Henderson & Marlene Henderson v. Eternit, Inc., Alameda County Superior Court, 843027-6)
$20,500,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for Pipe Worker
On April 12, 2001, Bill and Vonda Hardcastle were awarded $20,500,000 by an Alameda County jury in California. Bill Hardcastle contracted a rare cancer which he alleged was caused by the asbestos released at his workplace by J-M A/C Pipe Co. of Stockton, California, a manufacturer of asbestos-cement pipe. (William Hardcastle and Vonda Hardcastle v. J-M A/C Pipe Corporation ,Alameda County Superior Court 830058-2)
$6,500,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for Childhood Household Asbestos Exposure
Kazan Law attorneys made U.S. asbestos litigation history with a verdict of $6,500,000 in an asbestos cancer case that arose after childhood household exposure to asbestos. In March 1999, Jeanette Franklin was diagnosed with mesothelioma, and on August 25, 1999, Kazan Law filed suit on her behalf. By February 2000, the case was settled with almost all of the defendants except USX Corporation. USX is the successor corporation to Western Pipe & Steel shipyard, and refused to offer even $1. (Jeanette Franklin v. USX Corporation (2000) Alameda County Superior Court 816407-0)
Landmark Court of Appeal and Supreme Court Decision
In an important victory for literally tens of thousands of asbestos disease victims, the California Supreme Court concluded that those who previously filed suit for non-fatal asbestos-related breathing disorders are not barred from filing a second lawsuit if and when they are diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-caused illness. )Hamilton v. Asbestos Corporation, Ltd. (2000) 22 Cal. 4th 1127, 2000 WL 576190)
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