During his 14 years of service in the U.S. Navy, our client was constantly handling parts and equipment containing asbestos and exposed to the dust on these parts and equipment. Because of this repeated exposure, our client contracted malignant mesothelioma.
He contacted Weitz & Luxenberg for legal representation. Our team of lawyers worked with him to identify the manufacturers of the dangerous products and prepare a suit that led to a seven-figure settlement for this widowed veteran and his two sons.
“Weitz & Luxenberg is dedicated to helping people who have been seriously damaged because they were needlessly put at risk by manufacturers producing dangerous products,” says attorney Michael T. Reid. “These parts were dangerous. Despite the manufacturers and the contractors involved knowing that they were dangerous, none of the parts contained proper warnings or safety instructions about asbestos. Nor did these companies take any safety precaution whatsoever to protect everyone on our client’s ship. As a consequence, they put everyone on that ship at risk.”
Equipment and Parts Did Not Contain Warning Labels
As a storekeeper, our client was involved in the routine maintenance of the several ships and submarines upon which he served. The boats and ships were typically based out of California, including San Diego, San Francisco, and Alameda.
His duties required him to identify manufacturer part numbers on original equipment and on spare parts. To do this, he had to go to the valve, pump, or equipment in the various engineering and machinery spaces throughout the ship he was serving on.
Having located the part from countless storage lockers located throughout the vessel, he then took it to the machinist mate or mechanic who needed to service or repair the equipment. Being in these work areas, and handling these parts, meant being exposed to the asbestos dust they created.
Exposure to Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma
The only cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Products that contain asbestos, when they are worn, cut, or sanded, produce a dust that contains fibers.(1)
Once these fibers are inhaled, they lodge in the linings of your lungs. This can lead to the development of mesothelioma, a type of cancer. Manufacturers of products that contain asbestos have a responsibility to warn the users of these dangers and advise them on proper safety precautions.
W&L Lawyers Prepared an Extensive Case
“The first step was to work with our client to establish a list of manufacturers and equipment that contributed to his exposure. It was important to identify what could have contributed to him developing mesothelioma,” explains Mr. Reid. “The client’s deposition produced almost 20 volumes of evidence, and the case required testimony from a large number of experts.”
There were numerous defendants in this case, manufacturers who had produced the equipment and general contractors who did work on the ships and submarines. Our client did not actually work on the various pumps, gaskets, valves, and other parts he handled, but he was in close proximity as the machinist mates and mechanics scraped and wire-brushed the equipment, blowing off the debris with compressed air.
“Because of the nature of his work, our client was able to provide clear information on the parts involved and their manufacturers,” points out Mr. Reid. The W&L team was able to go to experts who could show this equipment did contain asbestos and should have had proper warnings. This testimony was included in the case.
Settlement Provides for the Veteran and His Family
The settlement Weitz &Luxenberg was able to reach on our client’s behalf was to compensate his family for all the medical expenses he incurred as he tried to treat his cancer, his loss of earnings when he was sick, and for the pain and suffering he and his family endured.
Mr. Reid knows, “In every case, it is not just the injured person that suffers. It’s the entire family. It is critical to have an experienced firm, like Weitz & Luxenberg, that is mindful and focused on protecting everyone.
Our attorneys have negotiated verdicts and settlements of over $17 billion for our clients and their families. When you have been injured because of the neglect of others, as our client knew, you need the attorneys at Weitz & Luxenberg.