A California jury recently handed down a substantial verdict in an asbestos cancer case involving a plaintiff who developed mesothelioma as a result of secondhand exposure to asbestos fibers brought home on his father’s work clothes. The jury’s $11.4 million award included $5 million to the plaintiff and his wife for what the panel deemed to be malice on the part of the defendant, Liberty Utilities, now known as Park Water.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that commonly affects thin lining of tissue surrounding vital organs like the lungs, heart, and abdomen. The disease is directly linked to exposure to asbestos, a naturally occuring mineral once commonly used in a variety of industrial, commercial, and military applications due to its malleability and heat-resistant properties. Mesothelioma usually takes 20 to 50 years to develop, which can leave patients with limited treatment options by the time a diagnosis is made.
According to the asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the plaintiff developed his cancer as a result of being exposed to asbestos fibers his father unknowingly brought home from his job at Liberty Utilities (Park Water). The plaintiff’s father worked at Liberty Utilities (Park Water) from 1970 to 1985, where he cut, installed, and repaired asbestos-cement water pipes but was unaware of asbestos exposure and its dangers.