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Appeals Court Confirms Mesothelioma Verdict Against Pabst and Increases Damages to $13.4 Million

Posted by Michael Throneberry | May 24, 2024

For purposes of this article, the mesothelioma victim in this case will be referred to as G.E.L.

In a recent court ruling that marks a significant victory for justice in mesothelioma cases, an appeals court confirmed the verdict against Pabst. The court even increased the damages awarded to the decedent's family. A Wisconsin court had found the defendant liable for the death of G.E.L. in 2021 and ordered the company to pay damages. However, the company appealed the court's decision, arguing that the decision was not correct. The surviving wife of G.E.L. also filed an appeal arguing that there was a mistake in calculating damages.

The legal battle began when Mr. G.E.L.'s estate filed a lawsuit against the defendant, Pabst, alleging that the company was to blame for the mesothelioma that resulted in Mr. G.E.L.'s death. Upon listening to the case and carefully deliberating, a jury sided with the estate and found Pabst liable for Mr. G.E.L.'s mesothelioma-related death. However, the case did not end there. Both the defendant and the widow contested the trial court's decision. Pabst sought to overturn the court's decision, whereas the widow sought to obtain more compensation.

The defendant argued that the evidence it presented was strong enough to overturn the jury's decision. Pabst also argued that it was not right for the jury members to be told they could draw a negative inference about destroyed records and that evidence of previous mesothelioma complaints should have been excluded.

The appellate court dismissed the defendant's arguments, reaffirming the jury's discretion in evaluating the evidence presented. The court noted that the jury had the right to accept or reject the defendant's evidence. The court also said that Pabst's actions had led to the instructions about the inference. A company representative said he could not answer questions regarding the company's history because documents had been discarded. Additionally, according to the appellate court, prior mesothelioma complaints were relevant to establish a pattern of negligence and the presence of asbestos at the company's facilities.

On the other hand, the appellate court sided with the mesothelioma widow's arguments regarding the calculation of damages. The court determined that according to Wisconsin's punitive damages law, punitive damages should be based on the total award and not on the defendant's share after fault allocation. The trial court had based punitive damages on the defendant's share after fault allocation. In the end, instead of the defendant being required to pay the decedent's family $6.9 million, Pabst was ordered to pay $13.4 million. Pabst did not take that decision well and tried to get out of paying the amount by arguing that the amount was absurd. Despite Pabst's objections, the court upheld the decision, noting that the company had not objected to the state's $20 million penalty. This inconsistency undermined the defendant's arguments that the revised damages were unjustified.

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyers

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.



About the Author

Michael Throneberry

Attorney Michael Throneberry graduated from Purdue University with a Civil Engineering degree. He then served with the United States Army...

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