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The family of a man who died of mesothelioma at the age of 67 has been handed a unanimous verdict and an award of $81.5 million to be paid by NAPA Auto Parts and Genuine Parts Corporation following a 12-week long trial in the Pierce County Superior Court in Tacoma, Washington. The verdict, which represents one of the largest ever awarded in the state, was reached after just 5 hours of deliberations.

The mesothelioma lawsuit was filed by the family of Jerry “Doy” Coogan, who was exposed to asbestos through both his work and his hobbies. Mr. Koogan had learned to operate heavy equipment as a child, when his grandfather taught him the excavating trade. Through the years he repaired and operated construction equipment including cranes and backhoes which were contaminated with asbestos: he also purchased and worked with asbestos-containing parts while restoring hot rods and classic cars, all of which were sold by the NAPA stores near his Kettle Falls, Washington home.

According to his attorney, “Many sellers of friction parts such as brakes, clutches and gaskets have known for nearly a century that their products contain asbestos and can kill. But they refuse to acknowledge their responsibility. Even worse, some continued to sell these products until 2001, which means that other families will surely suffer the same fate. Doy Coogan had no idea that he was being exposed to deadly asbestos from just doing what he enjoyed.”

Asbestos is a material that was used for years to reduce friction in high heat settings and to add strength. Despite its many benefits to the industries in which it was used, the material was determined to be highly carcinogenic, and its use has been largely curtailed over the last fifty years. People who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis have been successfully filing personal injury lawsuits against asbestos companies since the mid 1970s: these lawsuits have been successful in large part due to evidence indicating that the companies were aware of the damage the material was causing, but did nothing to protect or warn employees or customers of the hazard. Over the years, mesothelioma lawsuits have become the single largest mass tort in American legal history.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against those responsible. You may also be able to file a claim against the asbestos bankruptcy trusts that have been set up for the victims of asbestos exposure. The Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net have all the information you need to help you move forward. Call us at 1-800-692-8608.

Author: Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing the copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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