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Family of mechanic who died from mesothelioma awarded millions

| Jun 9, 2014 | Products Liability |

Mesothelioma is not just a problem here in Illinois but in states across the nation as well. But because this particularly rare cancer can sometimes take years to develop, it’s often not realized until later in life. By this time, it’s difficult to pinpoint what caused the cancer in the first place. This means that some people and their loved ones never receive compensation for their injuries, even if this was due to someone else’s negligence.

Thankfully this wasn’t the case for a California family who was recently awarded $10.9 million in their mesothelioma case. The family sued on behalf of their loved one who had passed away because of years of contact with asbestos-containing automotive parts such as brake pads and linings.

The family believed that the auto mechanic’s cancer came from decades of working with automotive parts made by Bendix, which was taken over by Honeywell in the early 1980s. In their lawsuit, the family held Honeywell liable for Bendix’s negligence. But even though Honeywell hoped it would get “a more ‘defense-friendly’ jury pool” after moving the case to another county, a jury agreed with the victim’s family, deciding that Benedix was 30 percent at fault for the mechanic’s malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Though asbestos exposure in this case happened thousands of miles away from residents here in Illinois, automotive parts are often shipped nationwide, which means this could have easily happened here as well. But as tragic as these cases are, it may be uplifting for our readers to hear that compensation can be sought and sometimes is awarded to victims and their families.

Source: The Business Journal, “Fresno jury awards $10.9M in mesothelioma case,” June 2, 2014

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