Chattanooga, TN—A jury awarded awarded a $1.4 million verdict to the widow of a former pipefitter who succumbed to the asbestos cancer, mesothelioma.
Kenneth W. Jackson, whose wife Marian was plaintiff in the suit, passed away in 2008, only six months after receiving the mesothelioma diagnosis. He worked for over thirty years at Combustion Engineering in Chattanooga where he was exposed to asbestos, the main cause of the disease. Asbestos was used throughout the twentieth century in building materials, insulation, and thousands of household goods before it was proven to be carcinogenic, causing breathing problems and lung ailments, including mesothelioma. It is reported that malignant mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos in over 90 percent of cases. As a pipefitter, Mr. Jackson was exposed to asbestos in the materials he worked with.
Because of Tennessee asbestos laws, Ms. Jackson was unable to file suit against Combustion Engineering, which is protected from asbestos litigation. Instead, North Brothers, a supply company from Delaware, was named defendant in the suit. Lawyers insisted that North Brothers supplied materials that were laced with asbestos to Combustion Engineering, thereby exposing Mr. Jackson to the deadly fiber.
According to Jimmy Rodgers, attorney for Ms. Jackson, said the defense’s case relied on the argument that “North Brothers only supplied the products Combustion ordered.” On the other hand, the lawsuit claimed North Brothers was responsible because they “knew or should have known that asbestos was a deadly carcinogen.”
Though Mr. Jackson stopped working at the plant in 1986, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma over twenty years later. That’s because symptoms of mesothelioma take years or even decades to develop. Because of this, diagnosis is usually delayed until the disease has reached the latter stages of its advancement, leaving few treatment options and a survival time of only months for patients.