A California jury recently handed down a substantial award to a husband and wife who claim the man’s employer is responsible for his mesothelioma diagnosis developed while working at several of the defendant’s oil refineries over a two-decade period. The mesothelioma cancer lawsuit named Fluor Enterprises Inc., Middle East Fluor, the National Iranian Oil Company, and several other companies as defendants, claiming that the groups exposed the victim to carcinogens by using asbestos-laden products despite knowing of the risks to workers.
According to the asbestos cancer lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the plaintiff developed an especially rare form of testicular mesothelioma as a result of working with asbestos contaminated parts as part of his routine job duties on oil rigs. The plaintiffs claimed the defendants violated their own internal standards for safety in the process of completing those projects, cutting many corners and putting the victim and other workers at risk of asbestos exposure.
The Los Angeles jury ultimately sided with the plaintiffs, handing down a total of $25 million in compensatory damages to the couple. Of that award, $14 million was awarded to the husband for his past and future pain and suffering while the remaining $11 million went to the wife for her damages as a result of her spouse’s mesothelioma diagnosis. In apportioning liability to the defendants, the jury determined the Iranian National Oil Company to be 20% at fault and prescribed the remainder of the blame to the Flour companies.
The case was interesting for several reasons, the least of which was that some of the defendants were foreign companies being sued in U.S. courts for asbestos exposure which occurred overseas. When hearing these types of claims, California, as many other states do, applies the applicable law of the state or country where the injury occurred. In this case, the court had to grapple with Iranian civil law interpretation of negligence and liability, among other concerns.
Asbestos was once commonly used in the oil and natural gas industry because of the mineral’s heat resistant properties and ability to be molded into a variety of shapes to fit various applications. While the asbestos-containing parts might have worked well for their application, when the products did break down, they put unsuspecting workers at risk of exposure to a deadly carcinogen directly linked to developing a rare and deadly form of cancer.
Mesothelioma typically affects the thin lining of tissue surrounding the lungs, abdomen, and heart but can be known to affect other parts of the body as it did in this particular case. There is currently no known cure for the disease and patients are often left with diminished treatment options when a diagnosis is made.
Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced 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.