A jury seated in Los Angeles Superior Court has ordered J-M Manufacturing and several other companies to pay 65-year-old Norris Morgan and his wife Lori over $30 million after determining that the company was responsible for the man’s malignant mesothelioma. The jury heard extensive evidence that Morgan was repeatedly exposed to asbestos in J-M Manufacturing’s transit pipes during the years he worked as a construction supervisor, and determined that the company was 45 percent responsible for his illness and that they had acted with malice. As a result, almost half of the $30.2 million total jury award consisted of punitive damages.
Mr. Morgan’s malignant mesothelioma diagnosis came after more than 20 years of working construction jobs in California. Though he did not personally come into contact with the asbestos-contaminated transit pipes, as supervisor of construction projects on which they were used, he was frequently in the surrounding work environment, where he inhaled the airborne asbestos fibers that later impacted his cells and mutated into mesothelioma’s cancerous tumors.
Not only did the jury in the case agree that the pipe that J-M Manufacturing was sold and the cause of Morgan’s mesothelioma, but also that the company had been aware of the dangers of asbestos in its product and had failed to provide warning. The $15 million punitive damages award came after evidence was presented showing that there were hundreds of articles and studies that detailed asbestos’ link to cancer and death prior to 1964, yet the company chose to continue its use of the carcinogen. The balance of the $30.2 million was broken down into $1 million in economic damages for Mr. Morgan and $13.2 million for his pain and suffering, while his wife was awarded $1 million for her loss of his companionship and support. In response to the award, Mrs. Norris said, “While no amount of money can give my husband back his health, this result acknowledges the devastation our family has suffered. I hope this result sends a clear message to companies about the consequences of using asbestos.”
Families that have been diagnosed with mesothelioma suffer remarkable pain. If you have been affected by this tragic illness, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net are here to help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.