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W&L Wins $3 Million Verdict for California Man Suffering from Asbestos-Related Mesothelioma

May 15, 2019
Home Firm News W&L Wins $3 Million Verdict for California Man Suffering from Asbestos-Related Mesothelioma

Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys Venus Burns and Michael Reid recently secured a $3 million trial verdict for Ervan Groves, a former employee at Masonite Corporation who developed terminal mesothelioma cancer as a result of asbestos exposure. D.W. Nicholson, a contracting company that worked on more than 100 jobs at Masonite during the course of Mr. Groves’ career, was also found negligent in the case.

Successful Verdict

A jury in Los Angeles, California awarded $3 million in damages to the plaintiffs, Mr. and Mrs. Groves, for past and future noneconomic and economic loss, as well as medical damages. The jury found that the negligence of D.W. Nicholson, Masonite, and J.T. Thorpe and Son contributed to Mr. Groves’ risk of developing mesothelioma and ultimately caused his terminal diagnosis.

“We applaud the jury for holding these companies accountable for the irreversible damage they have caused to Mr. Groves and his family,” said Venus Burns, associate attorney at Weitz & Luxenberg. “No amount of money can heal him of the pain that these companies caused, including terminal mesothelioma cancer, but we are hopeful that he, his wife, and the rest of his family can find some peace in this verdict.”

The jury awarded Mr. Groves more than $1.3 million in past and future noneconomic loss, more than $555,000 in economic loss, and $300,000 for future medical damages, while awarding his wife, Jo Ann Groves, $800,000 for her past and future loss of love and companionship following Mr. Groves’ terminal cancer diagnosis. 

Masonite and D.W. Nicholson Found Negligent

Mr. Groves worked in the plate and wire department and as a laborer throughout the facility for Masonite Corporation from 1964 to 1999. Throughout the course of Mr. Groves’ career at Masonite, D.W. Nicholson, which specializes in the installation of mechanical, electrical, and piping equipment, worked on over 100 jobs at the facility. Mr. Groves developed mesothelioma when D.W. Nicholson exposed Masonite employees – including Mr. Groves – to asbestos by not taking appropriate safety and protective measures.

The jury assigned 20% fault to D.W. Nicholson; 70% fault to Masonite, which was not a defendant in the case; and 10% fault to J.T. Thorpe and Son, which resolved the case prior to this verdict.

Other Asbestos Verdicts

Weitz & Luxenberg has won numerous favorable verdicts for their clients in mesothelioma injury cases, including a $75 million verdict that is the largest single asbestos verdict ever in New York state, a $20 million verdict for the family of a marine ship repairman, and an $11.4 million verdict for the family of a worker who cut, installed, and repaired asbestos cement water pipes.

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