A Baltimore, Maryland jury determined in July 2019 that William Busch, Jr. developed mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure. It awarded the man $14 million, an amount which was reduced to $7.3 million. Busch performed non-insulation work for Honeywell Corporation during construction of a high school in the 1970s. During his work in the boiler room of the high school, he was exposed to asbestos-containing materials. The materials, Busch argued, were installed by the defendant in the case, an insulator contractor named Wallace & Gale Co. Court Upholds $7.3 Mesothelioma Verdict.
Busch was diagnosed with mesothelioma after spending several months in proximity to the insulators that the defendant allegedly installed. Although he wore a respirator at the time, the insulators’ work created “snow storms” of dust. He and others inhaled these, later resulting in Busch’s diagnosis.
Numerous forms of evidence documented Wallace & Gale’s liability. These included time sheets and the fact that the company admitted it performed insulation work at the high school. Nonetheless, Wallace & Gale argued that there was no direct evidence connecting it to the boiler room insulation work. The defendant argued that a previously dismissed plaintiff in the case, McCormick Asbestos Company, may have been liable instead. The evidence, Wallace & Gale contended, was circumstantial.
The company appealed, but the court upheld the use of the circumstantial evidence. “[A] reasonable factfinder could have found by a preponderance of the evidence that W&G performed the asbestos insulation work.”
The case demonstrates the difficulties faced by mesothelioma victims in holding defendants liable for their actions. Despite the evidence linking Wallace & Gale to the asbestos exposure, the company fought the jury verdict. Many victims face similar uphill battles in winning compensation for their injuries.
But the case also shows the type of evidence which may be introduced to establish liability. Even though the evidence was circumstantial, it met a credible threshold with the appellate court. A jury would have been, and was, reasonable to come to the conclusion it did.
Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive form of cancer often found in the lungs. While there are many causes of this disease, asbestos is the leading one. Workers in industries from insulation to construction have developed mesothelioma due to long-term exposure to asbestos. It can take years for symptoms to reveal themselves. They include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Painful coughing
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Unexplained weight loss
Manufacturers and corporations have known of the hazards posed by asbestos for decades. But they chose to ignore these risks and use products containing the substance anyway. Negligence and disregard for worker safety caused many unwitting individuals to develop mesothelioma. Insulation is an example of something that has, at least in the past, been made with asbestos. Even though asbestos has largely fallen out of use, it can still be found in some products.
Because asbestos can still be found in older buildings, many Americans are still at risk of developing mesothelioma. The outlook is not good for anyone who develops the disease. Fewer than 10 percent of mesothelioma victims live longer than five years. If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos, it is important to consult your primary care physician. You should document any symptoms you experience, as well as your medical costs and other expenses. Similar to the Baltimore case, it also helps to keep records concerning whatever source of asbestos may have harmed you.
Our Legal Team Can Help With Your Mesothelioma Case
Victims of mesothelioma need and deserve compensation for their injuries. They were harmed by corporations which put profit over public safety. The attorneys of Gacovino, Lake & Associates P.C. have experience with mesothelioma cases. We will review your claims and advise as to the best course of action. Reach out to us today to set up a consultation.