$10.4 Million Mesothelioma Award Upheld by Louisiana Court

When David Strauder, Jr. died of malignant mesothelioma, he left behind two bereft adult daughters. The women filed suit against the companies that had exposed their father to asbestos in the state of Louisiana and won a $10.4 million verdict against Union Carbide Corporation, the only defendant that remained. The company filed an appeal arguing that the verdict was inappropriate, but the state’s Court of Appeals denied their petition, noting that juries are given vast discretion in awarding damages for wrongful death.


Pipefitter’s Mesothelioma Blamed on Years of Exposure to Asbestos

The original mesothelioma lawsuit detailed how David Strauder Jr. had worked as a pipefitter from the 1960s to the 1980s, and the many asbestos-contaminated products that he’d worked with. He died of the rare disease just months after his 2015 diagnosis and his family sued for compensation in 2016. After hearing of the remarkable closeness of the victim and his two daughters, the jury awarded $4.85 million in survival damages and an additional $5.5 million to be split between the two adult women in wrongful death damages, as well as interest going back to the time that they originally filed their suit.

Union Carbide Corporation appealed the amount of the verdict, arguing that $2.75 million to each of the mesothelioma victim’s adult daughters was unreasonable. They also argued that the interest awarded was calculated based on an incorrect date. 

Court Denies Asbestos Company’s Appeal of Mesothelioma Verdict

In its response, the Louisiana Court of Appeals indicated that though the company felt that the award was “grossly excessive,” wrongful death damages are determined by juries, who have vast discretion. They also noted that the testimony provided about the women’s relationship with their father was particularly evocative: Mr. Stauder’s daughters had cared for him during his illness, and both had suffered declines in their mental health since his death.

With reference to the calculation of the interest owed to the women from the mesothelioma award, the court noted that precedent had established that interest should relate back to when a petition is first filed in state court, and that therefore the calculation was correct.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, justice is available. For information, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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