When a person is diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, they are immediately thrust into a whole new world: they must quickly learn about and submit to a variety of medical treatments designed to extend their lives; they must deal with the emotional burden of a terminal diagnosis; and they must consider their legal options against the companies that are responsible for having exposed them to the asbestos that caused their illness. The last of these may initially sound like the easiest of the three, but asbestos companies fight long and hard to avoid paying for their negligence, and these cases can often drag on for years. An example of this can be seen in a case that was recently resolved in the state of Louisiana: the family of a woman who died of mesothelioma in 2003 was finally provided with the justice that they sought in her death. After years of fighting a $5.5 million verdict, compressor manufacturer Ingersoll Rand’s arguments were denied and the company was told to pay the initial verdict against them plus interest, bringing the family’s award to $9.2 million dollars.
Myra Williams was just 59 years old when she died of malignant mesothelioma. She had four adult children with who she was extremely close, and who were forced to watch their mother suffer an agonizing death as a result of having washed her husband’s asbestos-contaminated clothing each night after he returned home from work at the Placid Oil Facility in Natchitoches, Louisiana. A year after her death, her family filed a mesothelioma lawsuit against her husband’s employer as well as the companies that provided the asbestos-contaminated materials that led to her death. All of the defendants except Ingersoll Rand resolved the case out of court, but the compressor manufacturer went to trial, where they were told to pay $3 million to Mrs. Williams’ estate, $1 million to her widower, and $750,000 to each of her four adult children. The company appealed the verdict and dragged the legal battle out over a period of over a dozen years.
The case was recently resolved in the Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit. The judge hearing the case dismissed each of Ingersoll-Rand’s arguments, finding the company liable for Mrs. Williams death and speaking to the extreme tragedy that it represented. They also confirmed that the company’s original damages owed had grown to $9.2 million reflective of interest accrued since the date of the original verdict.
If you or someone you love needs to know more about your legal rights in the face of a mesothelioma diagnosis, our compassionate professional staff can help. Contact us today at 1-800-966-2244 for immediate assistance.