Asbestos Company’s Appeal of Mesothelioma Verdict Backfires, Leads to Larger Award

It is not at all unusual for an asbestos company ordered to pay a large mesothelioma award to file an appeal of the jury’s verdict, and that is exactly what talc provider Whittaker, Clark and Daniels, Inc. did when faced with a $3 million award to the estate of a peritoneal mesothelioma victim and her widower.  What is unusual is that in this case the company’s filing was not only rejected, but the victim successfully argued that the company owed them a larger amount and the court agreed, raising the compensation by an additional $366,250.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Blamed on Victim’s Use of Talcum Powder

The original mesothelioma lawsuit was filed on behalf of Florence Nemeth, a woman who was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma after years of having used Desert Flower Talcum Powder. While several defendants settled with the victim, two companies remained as defendant: the talc provider Whittaker, Clark and Daniels (WCD) and the talc’s manufacturer Shulton, Inc. Mrs. Nemeth died shortly after the trial began.

After hearing evidence from numerous expert witnesses, the jury awarded the woman’s estate $15,000,000 and her widower $1.5 million, with each defendant responsible for 50%. All parties agreed to lower the award to $6 million and $600,000, but WCD then appealed the jury’s decision, arguing that it had been irrational and that a new trial was necessary.

Court of Appeals Rules Against Mesothelioma Defendant, Increases Victim’s Compensation

In a careful analysis of the jury’s decision, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York rejected WCD’s argument, indicating that the evidence that had been submitted in the mesothelioma lawsuit had supported the jury’s decision and that neither the plaintiff’s attorney’s closing argument nor the jury instructions were inappropriate or prejudicial. 

The court also reviewed the verdict that the jury had handed down and concluded that it had been calculated incorrectly. They recalculated it and ended up awarding the victim’s family an additional $366,250 for their loss.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma after having been negligently exposed to asbestos, there are numerous resources available to you. For information on how we can help, 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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