$7.3 Million Mesothelioma verdict upheld. A jury in Baltimore decided that William Busch, Jr. developed mesothelioma because of extensive asbestos exposure. In July 2019 it awarded the man $14 million, an amount later reduced to $7.3 million. Busch worked for Honeywell Corporation, doing non-insulation work during the construction of a high school in the 1970s. His work in the boiler room of the high school exposed him to substances containing asbestos. Busch argued that the asbestos-containing material was installed by the defendant, a contractor named Wallace & Gale Co.
Busch wore a respirator during Wallace & Gale’s insulation work. However, the work created massive dust storms of asbestos particles which he and others breathed in. Spending months of time in proximity to the asbestos-containing insulation was hazardous, and Busch was later diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Evidence was introduced to document Wallace & Gale’s liability. It included time sheets and the fact that the company admitted to performing insulation work at the high school. Despite the evidence, Wallace & Gale contended there was no direct evidence linking it to the boiler room insulation work. A previous defendant in the case, McCormick Asbestos Company, had previously been dismissed. Wallace & Gale argued that McCormick may have been liable instead. The company argued that the evidence introduced in the case was circumstantial.
Wallace & Gale 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 illustrates the type of evidence that may be introduced to establish liability in mesothelioma lawsuits. Although the evidence was circumstantial, the appellate court concluded that it met a credible threshold. A jury would have been reasonable to reach the conclusion it did.
But the lawsuit also demonstrates the difficulties faced by mesothelioma victims in holding defendants liable. In spite of 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.
Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive form of cancer that is often found in the lungs. There are many causes of this disease, but asbestos is considered the leading one. Workers in a variety of industries, from insulation to construction, have developed mesothelioma due to long-term exposure to asbestos. It may take several years for mesothelioma symptoms to reveal themselves. Among them are the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
- Painful coughing
- Abdominal swelling
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
Companies have been aware of the health dangers posed by asbestos for decades. However, they chose to ignore these risks and use products containing the substance. Disregard for worker and public safety caused many individuals to unknowingly develop mesothelioma. Insulation is an example of something that has historically been made with asbestos. Even though asbestos has largely fallen out of favor, it is still used in some products.
Since asbestos can still be found in older buildings, many people are still at risk of developing mesothelioma. Developing this disease is a near death sentence in most cases. Fewer than 10 percent of mesothelioma patients live more than five years after being diagnosed. If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos, you should consult your primary care physician. Document any symptoms you experience, as well as your medical costs and other expenses. You may need this information later to pursue litigation against the responsible party.
A Mass Tort Law Firm Can Help With Your Mesothelioma Case
Mesothelioma victims suffer serious health consequences. They need and deserve compensation for their injuries and expenses. It is important for them to contact a mass tort law firm that has experience handling mesothelioma cases.