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Military Boiler Operator with Mesothelioma Awarded Seven-Figure Settlement

June 1, 2017
Home Firm News Military Boiler Operator with Mesothelioma Awarded Seven-Figure Settlement

A diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma in the lining of your lungs is devastating. It is made even worse when you are told you are not a candidate for surgery. This further limits what few treatment options are available for this terminal form of cancer, which is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.

When the manufacturers responsible for your suffering need to be held accountable, the attorneys at Weitz & Luxenberg step up. We were able to get a seven-figure financial settlement for our Southern California client because those companies didn’t warn him that he was being exposed to asbestos while he worked.

Our client is a retired widower with seven adult children. It is his children whom he immediately thought of upon receiving a malignant pleural mesothelioma diagnosis in February 2016. Confirmation of that diagnosis came in November 2016.

W&L Files Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Our client came to Weitz & Luxenberg because W&L is a large, reputable firm with a dedicated team whose experience in dealing with mesothelioma cases is well recognized.

We make a difference for our clients and their families by doing our best to get them compensation for their pain and suffering. We have won $17 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients.

Occupational Exposure Risk

Our client’s nearly 55-year career began in the early 1950s when he was a Navy boiler tender. He continued working as a boiler operator and in maintenance in boiler, heating, and ventilating and plant maintenance, even after his tour of duty ended. Throughout his career, he worked on military bases, at manufacturing sites, and for federal prisons.

A boiler operator is one of the occupations at high risk for exposure to asbestos because the products and materials used when performing the work often contain these dangerous fibers.

Our client worked with pipes, pumps, gaskets, valves, tubes, gages, insulation, packing, fuses, arc chutes, and electrical panels. Often this work involved cutting, fitting, and sanding, all of which created asbestos-laced dust that he inhaled.

Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma. The tasks our client performed on a regular basis, for years, led to his contracting mesothelioma.

Secondary Exposure in the Workplace

Our client was also exposed to asbestos dust even when he was not working directly with asbestos-containing products. He was typically working around or near others who worked with these same products that created dust.

This type of exposure is called secondary, but it is just as deadly. The end diagnosis is the same: mesothelioma.

Inadequate Labeling of Products

Most importantly, manufacturers of products and materials our client used to do his job did not provide adequate warning labels or safety instructions. Even though asbestos may have been listed among the contents on the packaging, the lack of warnings on labels or the inclusion of safe handling instructions is legally negligent.

Asbestos has been used for insulation and as an additive for strengthening products; however, it is a known carcinogen. In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of asbestos in any new products. Older products that are still on the market can contain asbestos.

Attorney Robert Green insists, “Today, companies are well aware of these laws. They understand the hazards of asbestos. They also know it is their responsibility to inform people who use their products.”

Corporate Defendants Settled

Of the corporate defendants in this case, some were manufacturers of pumps, valves, compressors, and gaskets. Others manufactured boilers, heating units, and electrical products. Our client was awarded large sums of money from all of them.

“These companies knew that their products contained asbestos but failed to warn customers of the danger of exposure to it. They callously ignored their responsibility to inform customers of safety precautions that could have been taken to protect themselves while working with these products,” points out Mr. Green. “Weitz & Luxenberg held them accountable for the harm done to our client and his family.”

Financial Settlement Helps Ease Suffering

Our client began chemotherapy in late 2016 which slowed the progression of his tumor.

Pleural plaques, pleural thickening, and pleural effusions — abnormal collections of fluid in the tissues lining the lungs or chest cavity — are associated with asbestos-related diseases. Our client also experienced coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain, to name a few of the symptoms he endured.

Mr. Green reflects, “Our client suffered from a truly terrible disease every single day. As he battled for his life, he did not have to worry about finances or about his family’s future.

“The money from this settlement helped pay for his medical and living expenses, as well as provide for his family’s future, now that he cannot. Hopefully, this large financial settlement helped ease his suffering.”

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