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In the 20th Century, asbestos was discovered. It revolutionized the insulation industry. Asbestos was considered a “miracle mineral” because it had the strength of rock and the flexibility of silk. It was strong, flexible and, most importantly, non-flammable. This made the product ideal for insulation in both commercial and residential buildings.
Unfortunately, it has now been medically proved that exposure to asbestos, even indirect exposure by family members, can lead to serious, and potentially fatal health problems. One of the most common afflictions from asbestos exposure is mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that affects the outer linings of body organs. Mesothelioma has no known cure and is degenerative. Patients diagnosed with this terrible cancer are generally given no more than a year to live.
One company that has come under fire for using asbestos in its products is Johns Manville, an insulation company incorporated in Manville, New Jersey. Between 1950 and 1980, the Johns Manville company produced brake linings, ceiling tiles, and many other insulation products which contained asbestos. The asbestos was mined in South Africa and brought to the U.S. by several Swiss supply companies, such as Anova Holding and Becon.
Scientific evidence of asbestos’s deadly effects led to more than 12,000 personal injury lawsuits against Johns Manville in the last thirty years. As a result, the company later filed for bankruptcy protection.
Just recently, the judge in a consolidated case for eleven Manville, New Jersey families issued a verdict against the former suppliers of a Manville plant, Anova Holding and Becon. According to the original lawsuits brought by the eleven families, workers at the Manville plant developed mesothelioma and subsequently died as a result of their exposure to asbestos. The lawsuits were originally filed separately in 2008, but were thereafter joined together before the trial began in June of 2014.
After several weeks of trial, a New Brunswick, New Jersey judge issued a $90 million damage award to the families of the deceased factory workers. The amounts of the awards to the individual families varied, depending on the particular circumstances of their loved ones’ deaths. For example, $4 million was awarded to the estate of Virginia Stansley, who died in 2009 at age 81; $15 million was granted to John Ketchum, whose wife, Deborah, died in November 2009, at 49 years of age.
If you or a loved one have developed an asbestosis-related cancer or another asbestosis illness such as mesothelioma or asbestosis, contact our Massachusetts asbestos attorney specialists to discuss your potential claim in a free and confidential legal consultation. We will tirelessly work to see that you are justly compensated for your asbestos related injuries. Your needs are our top priority!