A ground-breaking lawsuit began trial proceedings in late February, permanently changing the mesothelioma legal landscape and establishing a new precedent for asbestos litigation. The two plaintiffs, Robert Lord and his wife Lola, filed a lawsuit against Vanderbilt Minerals LLC. Their lawsuit claimed that Robert’s development of mesothelioma was due to exposure to industrial products made by Vanderbilt that contained talc.
The products involved in the lawsuit contained traces of asbestos, and the Lords’ claim states that Vanderbilt Minerals neglected to provide sufficient health warnings about the potential hazards of their products.
Reaching a Historic Mesothelioma Settlement
On March 16, 2018, Vanderbilt Minerals reached a settlement in the case, despite having originally presented some arguments denying their responsibility for Robert’s mesothelioma development. They attempted to attribute his development of mesothelioma to other small jobs he worked as well as to his smoking habits. However, the historic settlement is bound to lead to increased accountability for companies that have, in the past, exposed their employees to asbestos despite knowing the associated risks.
As the couple’s attorney Scott Frost stated, “for many years, companies have denied their products contained asbestos, when in fact they did, exposing the hard-working people like Mr. Lord to asbestos with no warning.”
Increasing Awareness of Talc Mesothelioma Cases in The U.S.
One of the reasons this case is so noteworthy is the attention it draws to talc-caused cancer cases in the United States. One recent example of a related headline-making case is the talcum powder lawsuit brought by California-based Eva Echeverria, which was responsible for the largest compensation amount awarded in an assortment of suits against Johnson & Johnson across the country.
Although this relatively high-profile Johnson & Johnson baby powder case made strides in increasing public awareness about the dangers of talc in cosmetic products, the Lords’ case will hopefully do the same for the hazards of industrial talc. Talc was often used for industrial purposes in ceramics, paper, plastics, and various chemical coatings. In Robert Lord’s case, exposure likely occurred when he used Vanderbilt products for Florida Tile Company in the 1970s.
The increased awareness that will likely arise from this case and its settlement will be vastly valuable for public health knowledge. While the dangers of asbestos are relatively well known today, awareness about asbestos-like materials and asbestos-containing materials is less prominent. Hopefully, cases like the Lord’s will change that. In fact, their lawyer Scott Frost has even stated that he expects to see an increase in talc mesothelioma cases across the nation as more victims decide to hold responsible companies accountable.
Establishing New Case Law and Legal Precedent
When it comes to asbestos litigation, settlements don’t just benefit the plaintiffs—they benefit people across the country who have suffered illness at the hands of negligent companies. The legal precedent set by these landmark cases makes it easier for mesothelioma patients and their families to secure the compensatory legal outcomes they deserve.
Because of the recentness of asbestos litigation, having these rulings become case law creates a new precedent that can be cited in future cases. For mesothelioma patients whose rare and relatively new disease is still being understood from medical and legal perspectives, this precedent is incredibly valuable. While the defendant in the Lords’ case made many efforts to deny responsibility and blame the plaintiffs themselves for the illness, avoiding accountability will hopefully be more difficult for negligent corporations going forward.
Helping Future Patients Seek Justice
Cases like the Lords’ propel mesothelioma law forward so that we can help more patients and families find justice and compensation while deterring companies from placing profit over the safety of their workers. With this new precedent in place, mesothelioma lawyers will continue working toward fair legal outcomes for their clients and hopefully help ease the financial burdens of this disease.
Working with an experienced law firm specializing in mesothelioma can ensure patients and their families receive the best chance at successfully seeking justice and recovering their fair compensation amounts.