Hazardous Exposure Injury Verdicts in the News

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Below are some hazardous exposure injury verdicts and settlements gathered from news outlets around the country.*

If you or someone that you know has been exposed to hazardous chemicals, connect with a local attorney today and learn how to pursue compensation for your injury. Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation.

*Results taken from recent news articles. Results not typical. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

$903,000 Jury Verdict for Mold That Caused Illness in New House

A jury recently awarded nearly $1 million to a Florida woman who contracted pneumonia six times in a year and a half because of mold in her home, which was built in 2002.

Jurors found that the builder was responsible for the mold problem in the woman's $1.4 million, lakefront house. The mold originated from problems with leaky windows and cracks in the stucco. The woman's illnesses were so bad that she had to vacate the home in 2005, and she hasn't been able to live there since.

The woman was awarded $185,000 to compensate for the time she couldn't use the home and $718,000 to get the home mold-free.

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$125,000 Awarded in Toxic Mold Lawsuit

Dana Winters and Daniella Winters filed a suit against Prudential Carolina Real Estate and agent Barbara Daniels in Berkely County for selling residential property without informing the buyers that it had a toxic mold problem. The jury returned a verdict of $50,000 in actual damages and $75,000 in punitive damages to the plaintiffs; however, Prudential Carolina attorney Michael Scarafile said that the verdict is not finalized. The Winters bought the property in Moncks Corner, SC in 2005. During renovation, the family found black mold and claimed that the defendants knew or should have known about the mold problem and failed to tell them before the sale. The lawsuit does not allege detrimental health effects because of the undisclosed mold problem.

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$12.6 Million Verdict Upheld by Court in Asbestos Case

A California appellate court determined there was substantial evidence that Dr. Saeed Behshid's malignant mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos from a joint compound (including Bondex International, Inc.'s joint compound) he used to remodel several homes more than 40 years ago. The $12.6 million verdict included $12 million for pain and suffering and $600,000 in economic damages. Bondex, which argued Dr. Behshid didn't prove his conditions were caused by the Bondex compound, was assessed 20% liability.

Bondex further argued that trial errors were made, which included not letting the jury determine fault to "others." However, the court upheld that Bondex failed to prove that "others" had any responsibility for Dr. Behshid's illness.

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$21 million in propane explosion

The family of Patrick and Margaret Higdon, a Bloomfield Hills, MI couple, reached a settlement worth over $21 million to resolve a wrongful death lawsuit after the couple burned to death in their vacation cabin. The award will come from Arby Construction, Wisconsin Public Service Corp., Portside Properties, their insurance companies, and Ferrellgas due to alleged negligence that resulted in propane explosions that cause the fire in the couple's cabin. According to the lawsuit, Arby Construction severed an underground propane gas line connected to the resort where the cabin was located. The couple's children were able to escape, but had to watch their parents burn as they were trapped inside the cabin. The money from the settlement will go into a trust fund for the children.

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$12 million for mislabel container resulting in hazardous exposure death

A federal lawsuit was settled in the case of a Honeywell International employee named Delvin Henry who died after being exposed to hazardous materials in a container mislabeled by Chemical & Metals Industries Inc. of Colorado. The lawsuit alleged that C&MI was guilty of negligent endangerment leading to the death as well as illegal storage of hazardous materials. Henry suffered third-degree burns when he opened the mislabeled container holding a highly corrosive and toxic spent catalyst and later died in the hospital. The $12 million settlement includes $2 million in fines, $8 million in restitution to Henry's family and $2 million to local law enforcement agencies. Chemical & Metals Industries Inc. will also be on probation for two years.

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Couple Awarded $7 Million for Asbestos Exposure

A couple were awarded $7 million by a San Francisco jury for hazardous exposure to asbestos fibers installed by Georgia Pacific Corporation while working for a home-remodeling company. The wife was diagnosed with mesotheliomoa, a type of lung cancer that has been linked to asbestos exposure. The jury decided that the award would be $20 million and that Georgia Pacific would be responsible for 30 percent of that amount, or near $7.1 million, as the sole defendant in the lawsuit. It is recorded as one of the highest ever verdicts related to asbestos exposure.

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$6 million for lead poisoning in 8-year-old boy

Eight-year-old Antonio Ross, Jr., from Baltimore, Maryland, was diagnosed with high levels of lead in his blood in 2001, and now he has received a jury verdict of $6 million for a lawsuit his mother, Chantey Holmes, filed against their apartment building owner and property manager, Garden Village Realty Corp and Regional Management Inc. Her suit claims that her complaints about the paint in the apartment went unheeded, as well as leaks in the roof and ceiling, allegedly leading to lead poisoning and loss of cognitive and motor skills. Though Regional Management claimed that the boy's exposure occurred elsewhere, the Baltimore City Health Department issued a violation notice for lead-based paint previously. The $6 million verdict will be capped between $590,000 and $620,000 under a Maryland law that limits non-economic damages.

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$225,500 to Author for Nerve Damage from Chemicals

British author Joan Brady reached a $225,500 settlement with the Conker Shoe Co. to resolve a lawsuit she filed against them claiming that toxic chemical fumes from the Conker factory near her home caused her limbs to become numb and adversely affected her career as a novelist. The suit also claims that the noise at the factory made her unable to focus on her latest novel, which is as of yet unfinished. (Ironically, the title of her unfinished novel is "Cool Wind from the Future.") Experts from a London hospital confirmed that the nerve damage Brady experienced in her extremities was likely the result of chemicals. Conker denied liability for Brady's injuries, but agreed to the settlement to avoid costly litigation proceedings.

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Dole Workers Awarded $3.3 Million for Impotence from Pesticide

In Los Angeles, California, six workers received a jury verdict of $3.3 million from a lawsuit they filed against the Dole Fresh Fruit Co. alleging that a pesticide used at a banana plantation in Nicaragua operated by Dole left them sterile. The suit also cites Dole and Standard Fruit Co. for concealing the dangers of the pesticide while they used it in the 1970s, as well as two chemical companies that manufactured the pesticide for concealing information concerning the danger of the pesticide. The $3.6 million payday was split between the six in varying amounts, ranging from $311,200 to $834,000.

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$3.6 Million for Asbestos Exposure Leading to Cancer

Though asbestos has been the subject of scrutiny for its contribution to health problems and been removed from construction procedures for many years now, its reputation as the longest-running and most expensive mass tort litigation continues. In one recent case, Martin Lujan, an 81-year-old man who worked in the San Francisco area, received a settlement of $3.6 million from a group of asbestos joint compound companies. In the suit, Lujan alleges that after 40 years of working near the asbestos joint compounds, he began exhibiting signs of mesothelioma, a form of cancer that is commonly linked to asbestos exposure. Health studies released by the government demonstrate that a worker is subject to increased risk of cancer after only four days of exposure to asbestos.

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Virginia Supreme Court Upholds $3.4 Million Asbestos Suit

The Virginia Supreme Court recently upheld a jury verdict of $3.4 million granted by a lower court to the family of a former shipyard worker who died of mesothelioma. The family of Garland F. "Buddy" Jones., Jr. won a larger $10 million verdict in July 2006 from three separate companies who manufactured asbestos products that caused Jones' mesothelioma; however, the family settled with two of the companies for smaller amounts, and the $3.4 million was the portion owed by John Crane, Inc. in Illinois. The award comes too late for Jones' wife, however, who died three weeks ago from unrelated cancer. Instead, their three children are beneficiaries.

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$4 million settlement for water contamination

The city of Lodi, California has recently received a $4 million settlement from one of its insurance carriers in an ongoing groundwater contamination case. This brings the city's total to $4.8 million in recent settlements; the city settled for $9 million with its primary insurer two years ago. Money brought in through litigation will help pay for the cost of the city's groundwater contamination cleanup. Such a large settlement could translate into savings for ratepayers who recently endured a water rate hike to help pay for the cleanup. Lodi's groundwater was believed to have been contaminated between 1977 and 1987 with the chemicals PCE and TCE, which are used in dry cleaning and industrial cleaning. The city estimates that it will cost $45 million to effectively clean up the ground water contamination.

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$4 million awarded for lead poisoning

A Baltimore city jury recently awarded $4 million to two siblings who sustained injury by lead paint poisoning in their publicly owned rowhouse in the 1980s. Joseph and Lisa Avery lived in the public housing facility with their parents throughout the 80s and complained about flaking lead paint. The children were later tested and were found to have lead levels that were acceptable at the time but later were considered poisonous by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards. The verdict mandated that Joseph Avery should be awarded $2.5 million and his sister $1.5 million. The Housing Authority for Baltimore City will be responsible for the award.

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$16 million award upheld for oil spill damage

Montana residents were recently awarded $16 million by the Montana Supreme Court for pollution that was caused by spills from a Texaco gasoline refinery. Though the court also reversed $25 million in punitive damages, residents said they got what they wanted most. The lawsuit focused on a 19-acre plume full of contaminants from a gas pipeline leak at the now-defunct Sunburst Works Refinery just outside the town of Sunburst. The award will be appropriated toward quicker cleanup costs.

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$15 million award upheld for pipeline leak

The Montana Supreme Court has recently affirmed a $15 million award handed down to residents of the Sunburst School District Number 2 in 2004 by the Cascade County District Court. The Sunburst School District and local residents filed two suits against Texaco, Inc. in 2001 for damages caused by the spread of benzene onto their properties and the possible health concerns associated with a 19-acre 1950s gas pipeline leak. The High Court affirmed the $15 million award for damages but reversed the $25 million award in punitive damages.

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$7.15 million awarded for carbon monoxide poisoning

An Alabama jury recently awarded $7.15 million to a woman who was injured by carbon monoxide poisoning which sickened her three children and killed her mother. Rosa Robinson filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Mobile Gas Service Corp. in 2004 after they were sickened from a carbon monoxide leak stemming from an allegedly faulty home heating furnace. The jury additionally found the family's landlord Tyrone Wilson and Robert Harris responsible for the damages. Harris had initially helped Wilson fire up the furnace in the first place. The verdict included compensatory and punitive damages to be shared by the three defendants.

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$12 million settlement agreed on for lead paint poisoning

The city of Brooklyn, New York and co-defendants recently agreed to pay over $12 million to an extended family whose 19 children suffered irreversible brain damage because they were exposed to lead paint as young children growing up in city-subsidized housing. The Scott family lived for three and a half years in temporary placement at the Brooklyn Arms hotel and then for 10 years in permanent housing in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Bertram Fields, who had owned Brooklyn Arms since 1950, testified that he thought his responsibilities and control of the lead-infested building were limited by a management contract he signed in 1966. Fields ended up paying $3 million of the settlement, while Merco, the hotel's management company, will pay $1.5 million.

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$868,000 Asbestos Injury Verdict for the Family of a Drywall Taper

A Southern California jury recently ordered that a Hunterdon County engineering and construction firm pay $5.2 million in an asbestos exposure lawsuit in which the plaintiffs alleged that the company acted with malice. The verdict ordered Foster Wheeler Corp. to pay the relatives of Richard Walmach, a naval machinist who died in 2006 after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer related to asbestos exposure. Of the $5.2 million award, $2 million was for punitive damages since Foster Wheeler allegedly failed to disclose asbestos risks. The firm has faced 20 other asbestos-related suits and been found liable for $100 million in general damages.

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$868,000 Asbestos Injury Verdict for the Family of a Drywall Taper

A jury concluded that Rich-Tex drywall products contained asbestos and caused the death of Douglas Ivance, a drywall Taper who used the products between 1963 and 1977. Ivance contracted sever asbestos-related pleural disease and died of respiratory failure in April 2003. The San Francisco Jury awarded the family $368,787 in economic damages and $500,000 in non-economic damages.

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$2 Million Jury Verdict for Cancer Related to Asbestos Exposure

General Motors Corp. (GM) and Ford Motor Corp. were ordered to pay $2 million to retired mechanic Rolan Leo Grenier, Sr. $2 million after he developed cancer from exposure to asbestos for 35 years. Grenier did not know the products he used in his job, such as vehicle brake and clutch mechanisms, contained asbestos. In 2005, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma - it took 25 years for the disease symptoms to show up. Grenier's lawyers contended GM and Ford knew their products could cause cancer.

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$18.5 million verdict in asbestos case

A jury awarded David Bakkie $18.5 million in a personal injury case. Bakkie, a former plastics molder for Union Carbide Corporation, suffers from mesothelioma which, according to the jury, was caused by exposure to Union Carbide's defective open asbestos fiber product RG-144. The jury determined that Union Carbide was negligent, failing to provide sufficient warnings.

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$14 million in chemical exposure case

A Mississippi oyster fisherman, Glen Strong, received a jury award of $14 million for damage caused by exposure to chemicals emitted by a DuPont factory. Strong contracted a rare blood cancer, which a jury determined was the result of dioxins released from the DuPont Delisle factory. The factory was located about five miles from Strong's home. While this case was the first decided, DuPont faces numerous other trials regarding the same chemical exposure issues.

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$10.4 million award in asbestos lawsuit

A jury awarded $10.4 million to the widow of a shipyard worker. Buddy Jones died of lung cancer after four years of working with materials that contained asbestos. Wanda Jones sued the manufacturers of the harmful products, of which there were three. Buddy Jones suffered from mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused almost exclusively by asbestos.

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$16.4 million award in asbestos exposure case

Three Brooklyn men who contracted lung disease from their exposure to asbestos while working for the Long Island Railroad received a jury verdict of $16.4 million. The men, who each received varying amounts of the award, were exposed to asbestos while grinding gaskets around contaminated railroad equipment and rail cars. The jury determined that the railroad company knew about the dangers of asbestos, but failed to sufficiently warn its workers.

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$13.5 million for childhood asbestos exposure

The family of an East Texas man who was exposed to asbestos while working with his father as a child received a $13.5 million award for negligence and failure to warn. Georgia-Pacific Corp., who manufactured the asbestos-based joint compound used by Timothy Bostic and his father in 60s and 70s, apparently knew of its dangers but continued to sell the product anyway.

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$1.9 million awarded for asbestos exposure

Retired navy machinist Charlton Clemmer and his wife Kay were awarded $1.9 million in damages on March 24, 2006. Clemmer contracted mesothelioma, an aggressive form of lung cancer, after years of work-related exposure to asbestos-containing products.

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