More than sixty years after he’d worked as a chemical engineer for Ethyl Corporation, Dr. James L. Gaddy was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. He died before his case came to trial, but his survivors pursued justice on his behalf and convinced a jury of the company’s liability. Though a district court reduced the damages that Ethyl owed the family from $7.5 million to $3 million, the company still attempted to strike the original jury’s decision and have the case reheard or the award reduced to just $900,000. The U.S. Court of Appeals denied their motion, providing the family with the justice they sought and the compensation they deserved.
Mesothelioma Caused by Exposure to Asbestos Fibers from Neighboring Work Area
The evidence presented to the original jury showed that Dr. Gaddy’s mesothelioma had been a result of his work in two areas of Ethyl’s chemical plant: One contained hundreds of feet of asbestos insulation and the other putting him close to the area where sodium cells insulated with asbestos were maintained. Expert witnesses testified that the carcinogenic fibers would have drifted from both sources, and said that it was likely that they caused Gaddy’s illness.
In filing a motion for judgment as a matter of law, Ethyl argued that the evidence provided about the cause of Dr. Gaddy’s mesothelioma was not legally sufficient to support their verdict. They disputed the way liability had been assigned, argued against having been negligent or having caused his illness, and questioned the expert witnesses. They asked for a new trial and also asked for the damages award to be reduced to just $900,000.
Appeals Court Upholds and Affirms District Court’s Decision in Mesothelioma Case
In reviewing each of Ethyl’s arguments, the appellate court methodically reviewed the evidence that had been submitted in the mesothelioma lawsuit and determined that the lower courts had decided appropriately, writing in part, “Plaintiffs presented ample evidence from which the jury could conclude that Dr. Gaddy was exposed to asbestos in the pilot plant,” and, “Given its first-hand view of the trial testimony and evidence, the district court was in a far better position that we to review the effect of those factors on the damages award.”
Companies that negligently expose people to asbestos are responsible for the outcomes of their decisions, and that often includes paying millions of dollars in damages to mesothelioma victims. If you or someone you love has been impacted by exposure to asbestos, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net have the answers that you need. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.