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Second-hand Asbestos Exposure Lawsuit Awarded $27.3 Million


June 10, 2013 — A jury in Oakland, California has awarded $27,342,500 in compensation for a second-hand asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuit.

The plaintiffs, 82 year-old Rose-Marie Grigg and her husband, Martin, alleges that she developed mesothelioma as a result of shaking out and washing her late husband’s work clothes. He spent eight years working as an insulator with Kaylo brand insulation products. Kaylo was marketed as “non-toxic” when it actually contained asbestos, a carcinogenic chemical.

Mrs. Grigg alleges that the manufacturer of Kaylo, Owens-Illinois Inc., filed to adequately warn about the life-threatening risks of the product. Lawyers presented evidence that Owens-Illinois knew as early as the 1930s that asbestos was toxic, but never warned employees or customers that Kaylo contained asbestos. Mr. Grigg died of mesothelioma years after working with the products.

The mesothelioma lawsuit was awarded the following damages:

  • $12 million in compensation for Mrs. Grigg.
  • $4 million for loss of consortium fro Mr. Grigg.
  • $342,500 for economic losses, out-of-pocket expenses, etc.
  • $11 million in punitive damages against Owens-Illinois

Mesothelioma litigation is one of the largest and longest-running litigations in U.S. history, with more than 600,000 lawsuits filed and new lawsuits continuing to be filed on a regular basis. In the last few years, juries have awarded massive verdicts for second-hand asbestos lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs who were exposed to the chemical on their family members’ clothing, shoes, skin, or hair.

In February 2008, a New Jersey jury awarded $30.3 million to the family of Mark Buttitta, a man who developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos fibers on his family members’ clothing. In 2010, the New Jersey Superior Court affirmed the jury’s decision.

Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the lining of the chest and lungs. Early symptoms are often mild, which often delays diagnosis and treatment until it is too late. Researchers have linked mesothelioma to exposure to asbestos, an industrial chemical that was banned in the mid-1980s.

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