Appeals Court Upholds $2.2 Million Mesothelioma Verdict Against ExxonMobil

Mesothelioma victims can seek compensation from the companies that negligently exposed them to the asbestos, but suing a major corporation can be intimidating. In Wayne Wright’s case the pursuit of justice was worth the effort. After his father died of the rare asbestos-related disease he sued Exxon, Shell Oil, Texaco Inc., and others, with all but Exxon agreeing to settle out of court. When a Washington state jury ordered the company to pay him $2.2 million, the corporate giant appealed the decision, but this week a three-judge appeals court panel affirmed the lower court’s decision.

Negligent Exposure to Asbestos Led to Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Wayne Wright filed a wrongful death lawsuit after an autopsy showed that his father’s September 2015 death was caused by pleural mesothelioma. The elder Wright had worked for Northwestern Industrial Maintenance, a company contracted by Exxon in 1979 to remove old insulation from pipes and pumps at an oil refinery. That insulation was contaminated with asbestos.

The jury hearing Wright’s mesothelioma lawsuit awarded him $4 million and that amount was offset to $2.2 million based on the settlement amounts he received from the other companies. Despite the judge’s reduction of the original damages amount, Exxon filed an appeal, arguing that the jury instructions had been inappropriate and that some of the evidence in the case should not have been admitted.

Appeals Court Decides for Mesothelioma Victim’s Family

In its review of the mesothelioma decision, the Washington appeals court agreed that there were certain errors in the jury instructions but not enough to have impacted arguments regarding the company’s liability or their counsel’s ability to effectively present their case. They also rejected the idea that the victim should have taken more precautions to limit his exposure to asbestos and that a 1981 article should not have been admitted as evidence. Though the appeals court made room for the verdict amount to be modified based on what they considered an inadequate review of the settlements with the other defendants, the general consensus is that it will stand.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible to pursue justice against those responsible for the asbestos exposure that caused it. For more information, contact the Patient Advocates at today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our 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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