The estate of an 83-year-old Korean War veteran has been awarded $12.1 million by a jury and judge hearing the details of his decades-long asbestos exposure and his subsequent diagnosis and death from malignant mesothelioma. The jury initially awarded the plaintiff $6.1 million in compensatory damages and the judge in the case added another $6 million in punitive damages against John Crane, Inc. as punishment for their callous disregard for the health of those using their dangerous products.
Mesothelioma Victim Spent Decades Cutting Asbestos-Contaminated Rope
The mesothelioma lawsuit was filed on behalf of Robert Mitchell, whose service in Korea was followed by over four decades of working at the Pfaudler Co. plant in Elyria, Ohio. Mr. Mitchell worked in the company’s stock room and was responsible for helping prepare shipments of specialized glass-coated steel bowls used in pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing. To secure the products he would use a band say to cut rope packing that was contaminated with blue crocidolite asbestos. The work spread asbestos particles into the air, which he inhaled. These particles were blamed for his eventual illness and death.
According to evidence presented at trial, Crane Packing Co. (now John Crane, Inc.) provided no warning to Mr. Mitchell’s employers about the dangers of asbestos or the risk of mesothelioma for anybody working with the product. In fact, the company advertised the product as ‘completely non-toxic’ and continues to claim it carries no danger. Though Mr. Mitchell’s employer discontinued use of the rope once it discovered its dangers, these actions came too late to save Mr. Mitchell’s life.
Punitive Damages in Mesothelioma Case Serve as Message Regarding Corporate Responsibility
When a mesothelioma victim is awarded punitive damages, it is an indication that the defendant in the case was aware of the dangers posed by their actions or lack of actions. Mr. Mitchell’s representative called John Crane, Inc.’s actions, “a pattern and practice of treating human life as disposable and not worth protecting.”
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you need information about your options, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.