In 2011, an Illinois jury awarded nearly $90 million in damages to the widow of a man who had passed away from mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos at work. Now, following a federal court ruling which limited the situations in which a company could be held liable for a worker’s death, an Illinois judge has reduced that jury award down to $8 million.
The asbestos lawsuit was filed by the widow of a man who contracted mesothelioma after working as a pipe fitter at several work sites. Last year, the jury found that the defendant companies had engaged in a conspiracy to keep information about the potential harm of asbestos exposure from the public and ordering five of those companies to pay total damages of $90 million to the widow.
Recently, however, the 4th District Appellate Court handed down a ruling which stated that companies that were not directly related to the job sites where the worker was exposed to asbestos should not be held accountable for the results of that exposure. Since then, several courts have overturned conspiracy rulings similar to that made in the pipe fitter’s case.
Here, the judge vacated several judgments against companies he found to be not directly related to the job sites at which the pipe fitter worked. This left just one judgment standing – an $8.4 million damage award against John Crane Inc. – while eliminating more than $80 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
According to the mesothelioma attorneys for the pipe fitter’s widow, she plans to appeal the judge’s decision.
Source: The Pantagraph, “Part of nearly $90 million asbestos judgment vacated by judge,” Edith Brady-Lunny, Sept. 5, 2012
The attorneys at our Madison County law firm represent family members who have lost loved ones to mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses. For more information, please visit our asbestos-mesothelioma connection page.