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Pennsylvania judge upholds $2.3 million asbestos death verdict

A judge in Philadelphia has upheld a $2.3 million plaintiff's verdict for a mass tort case against The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Goodyear Canada Inc., Crane Co., Duro Dyne Corp. and DAP Inc. for the wrongful death of a man. The man died from malignant mesothelioma, which is often caused by repeat exposure to asbestos.

The lawsuit was filed by the deceased man's wife in June 2012. The wife claimed in the filing that her husband came down with mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos at work. He was a sheet metal helper and mechanic for E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co. between 1951 and 1985. The man was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in summer 2010. His wife claims that the company did not exercise reasonable caution to protect its workers from the harmful, hazardous conditions on the property.

In the post-trial motion, the defendants believed that they deserved a new trial due to the testimony of an expert witness, which they said violated the precedence set by a prior case. The expert witness explained the concept of cumulative asbestos exposure and said that it likely caused mesothelioma in the plaintiff's husband. However, the judge did not deem this to be in violation of the precedent set by the prior case. The judge also noted that the defense cannot appeal based on the truthful expert opinion that it lobbied, and he has asked the Pennsylvania Superior Court to support his decision.

An individual who is exposed to a workplace illness could file a workers' compensation claim or legal action against the employer. A lawyer may make the process easier and could protect the rights of the individual. The individual may be able to recover compensation through legal action that workers' compensation does not cover, such as punitive damages, pain and suffering and lawyer fees.

Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "Phila. judge affirms $2.3 million plaintiff’s verdict in asbestos wrongful death case", Jon Campisi, December 05, 2013

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