Knowing what we know now about asbestos, it comes as no surprise that Walter Miller was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, the rare and fatal form of cancer. But back when Mr. Miller was an auto mechanic in the 1970s and before, the men and women who were working with the material had no idea that it was causing them irreparable damage. The manufacturers that were producing asbestos-contaminated parts knew, as well as others whose equipment helped to spread asbestos fiber around, but those companies did nothing to communicate the dangers of the material out of fear that it would cost them profits. Now those companies are being held responsible for their silence and inaction, as can be seen by the $9 million award that a brake-grinding machine manufacturer was ordered to pay him for his pain and suffering.
The mesothelioma lawsuit involving Walter miller began in 2015 when he filed suit against Hennessy Industries Inc., as well as numerous other companies that manufactured asbestos-containing parts. Though all of the other companies settled claims out of court, Hennessy argued against their own responsibility because their equipment did not contain asbestos – it was simply used to grind down parts that contained asbestos. Though they argued that they should not be held liable, a New York state jury disagreed and awarded the man and his wife a total of $25 million for past and future pain and suffering.
In 2016, the company appealed the verdict on several grounds, including the fact that the award was far above anything that had been provided in similar cases. Though the Appellate Court dismissed all of their other arguments, they agreed that $25 million was excessive when compared to similar cases, and suggested that Mr. Miller could either agree to a new trial or accept an award that was more in keeping with those that had been assigned in other cases. They suggested that the damages be adjusted to $5 million for past pain and suffering and another $4 million for pain and suffering in the future.This week Mr. Miller and his wife stipulated that those terms were acceptable, and the case has been fully resolved. They will be receiving $9 million from Hennessy’s parent company, AMMCO.
When facing a powerful company in a mesothelioma case, it is important that you work with an experienced professional who can advise you as to your rights and your best options. For information on how we can help, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.