Jury Awards $27 Million in Secondary Asbestos Exposure Lawsuit

Second-Hand Asbestos Exposure Award

Written by Faith Anderson on January 29, 2014
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Jury Awards $27 Million in Secondary Asbestos Exposure Lawsuit

In the largest mesothelioma verdict of its kind in Ohio history, a jury recently ruled in favor of a 40-year-old man exposed to asbestos second-hand as a child.

A jury in Ohio recently awarded $27.5 million to a college professor who developed mesothelioma from secondary exposure to asbestos fibers, which were carried home on his father’s clothes when he was a child. John Panza, 40, and his wife Jane filed the mesothelioma lawsuit against Kelsy-Hayes Co., formerly known as National Friction Products, a company that manufactures performance brake pads. Although the use of asbestos has been largely banned in the Unites States since the 1970s, the dangerous material was commonly used in brake pads, construction materials and other products in the past, and some products still contain traces of asbestos today. If you have been diagnosed with a fatal disease like mesothelioma, and you believe asbestos exposure to be the cause, contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney in your area for legal help.

Mesothelioma Caused by Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly form of cancer that affects the protective lining of internal organs. The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, and because the cancer typically isn’t diagnosed until it’s at a very advanced stage, mesothelioma is associated with an extremely short life-expectancy. According to allegations raised in the mesothelioma lawsuit, Panza’s father worked at the Eaton Airflex brake company for 31 years, and brought home on his clothes asbestos dust that came from brake pads manufactured by National Friction Products. Panza’s father eventually died of lung cancer in 1994, and Panza himself was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2012.

Jury Rules in Favor of Mesothelioma Victim

Following an 11-day trial in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, the Ohio jury returned a landmark verdict of $27.5 million in damages, including $515,000 in economic damages and $12 million in non-economic damages awarded to John Panza, and $15 million awarded to his wife for loss of consortium. The multi-million-dollar secondary asbestos exposure verdict is believed to be the largest of its kind in Ohio history, with the largest mesothelioma award prior to this one being just $6.4 million.

Contact a Qualified Mesothelioma Attorney Today

Mesothelioma cancer is the longest-running mass tort in the history of the United States, with more than 600,000 people having filed complaints against more than 6,000 defendants since the litigation began. Although most mesothelioma lawsuits involve workers exposed to asbestos on the job, there have been a growing number of lawsuits filed in recent years over second-hand asbestos exposure, on behalf of wives, children and other family members who inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers brought home in workers’ hair or on their clothes. If you believe you have been harmed by side effects of asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and medical expenses. Our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help put you in touch with a mesothelioma lawyer in your area, so you can discuss your legal options.

Posted Under: Legal, Mesothelioma, News
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