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Asbestos Plaintiffs Awarded $14 Million From Celanese Corporation

A family that lost its leader to malignant mesothelioma got some measure of closure from a South Carolina jury, which awarded them $14 million in damages for the loss of their father. Dennis Seay was a maintenance worker for the Daniel Construction Company and worked in their employ for many years. From 1971 to 1980 he was assigned to work at the Celanese Corporation’s South Carolina location as part of a contract held by his employer. The facility was engaged in producing chemically treated fabric, and among the chemicals that they utilized was asbestos, a toxic material that has been established as the primary cause of mesothelioma and other forms of cancer and advanced illness. Following his diagnosis in 2013, Mr. Seay lived just one year before succumbing to the aggressive and rare form of cancer that claims the lives of approximately 3,500 Americans every year.

Mesothelioma is always considered to be fatal. It is a cancer that forms in the linings of the body’s organs after asbestos has been either ingested or inhaled. Cancer that forms in the mesothelium – or lining – of the lungs is known as pleural mesothelioma, while cancer that forms in the mesothelium of the abdominal organs is known as peritoneal mesothelioma. It has been established that many companies that used asbestos throughout the 20th century were well aware of its health risks and did nothing to warn or protect their employees from its dangers. As a result, billions of dollars in damages have been assessed against those that continued to use it, and the cases continue today.

Celanese Corporation, the company whose facility Mr. Seay was working in, is a Fortune 500 company that was originally established in New York City in 1918. Today it is based in Irvin, Texas, and still makes its name as a leader in the production of acetyl products. The jury that listened to the case filed by Mr. Seay’s family heard testimony for nine days before awarding them a total of $12 million in actual damages and another $2 million in punitive damages. Mr. Seay was only 70 when he died, and according to testimony provided at the trial, during the time between his diagnosis and his death his lungs collapsed ten times and had to be drained eleven times. Mesothelioma victims often die extremely painful deaths, that are characterized by wasting and suffocation.

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 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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