Jury Awards $32 Million After Second-Hand Asbestos Exposure Leads to Woman’s Mesothelioma Death

Kathy Weist was exposed to asbestos repeatedly throughout her 62 years, but it was the toxic fibers her husband carried home from his work that she most blamed for her malignant mesothelioma diagnosis. Mrs. Weist died in 2020, and last month, a South Carolina jury spent four-days listening to her story. At the end of the trial they awarded her husband and son $32 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

Woman’s Mesothelioma Death Follows Years of Laundering Husband’s Work Clothes

According to testimony in the mesothelioma lawsuit, Kathy’s husband Robert Weist and his father both worked for a company called Metal Masters at a Louis Rich Company facility owned by Kraft Heinz. The two men were exposed to asbestos in that workplace and then unknowingly carried it home on their clothing, which Kathy Weist laundered. The type of exposure she suffered is known as second-hand because she did not work in direct proximity to the carcinogenic material.

At trial, it was noted that between 1960 and 1980 Mrs. Weist’s father and uncle worked at factories where they too were exposed to asbestos that they carried home, but the mesothelioma lawsuit focused largely on her husband’s exposure, which occurred in the 1980s. By that time the dangers of asbestos were well known, and her family argued that companies had a duty to notify workers of the dangers within the Kraft facility.

Mesothelioma Verdict Sends Powerful Message About Asbestos Negligence

The jury hearing the trial sent a powerful message to Kraft, Metal Masters, and other companies regarding negligence leading to mesothelioma. They awarded Mr. Weist $11 million in survival damages, $10 million in wrongful death damages, and $1 million for loss of consortium, as well as an additional $10 million assessed against Kraft for punitive damages.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, your exposure to asbestos may have been a result of negligence. The Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help in identifying the cause of your illness and provide you with many other resources as well. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net 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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