A California jury ordered Owens-Illinois to pay $27.3 million to a mesothelioma patient who filed a lawsuit alleging she was exposed to asbestos from the company’s products while washing her ex-husband’s work clothing.
As reported by Law360 (subscription required), plaintiff Rose-Marie Grigg, 82, alleged that Owens-Illinois made the asbestos-containing products responsible for her mesothelioma. The state court jury agreed, awarding her $11 million in punitive damages. The award is in addition to $16.3 million in other damages assessed against the company in May.
Grigg was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December 2011. Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It is possible to develop mesothelioma due to secondary asbestos exposure. This occurs when a person is indirectly exposed to asbestos through either a household member or the environment. It is increasingly being recognized as a direct cause of mesothelioma and other types of serious asbestos-related illnesses.
Grigg’s asbestos lawsuit claimed that her former husband worked as an insulator for a company that used asbestos-containing products such as Owen-Illinois’ Kaylo-brand insulation. Grigg was exposed when would shake the asbestos dust from his work clothing before she laundered it.
Evidence introduced during trial showed that Owens-Illinois knew that asbestos exposure could cause death as early as the 1930s. The jury found that the company intentionally failed to disclose the known health risks about the Kaylo insulation products to Grigg.
Companies like Owens-Illinois knew for many years that their asbestos-containing products were causing serious illnesses such as mesothelioma, but did nothing to protect the public. Through asbestos law, victims of these negligent companies can gain some measure of justice.
A successful asbestos lawsuit can help you pay related medical bills and provide financial security for your family. If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may want to discuss filing a lawsuit with an asbestos attorney. Contact Sokolove Law today for a free case evaluation.