Published on September 02, 2022
A Philadelphia jury ordered Washington Penn Plastic Company to pay a family $3.8 million in mesothelioma damages after learning the organization had knowingly exposed their loved one to asbestos. Daniel Rugg was just 61 years old when he was diagnosed with the rare and deadly form of cancer, and he died less than two years later.
Washington Penn Plastic Failed to Take Steps to Prevent Mesothelioma
The jury heard extensive testimony about the role that asbestos plays in mesothelioma, and about how Rugg’s employer had been told that one of the mines from which it sourced talc contained asbestos. They were told that Rugg had worked for Washington Penn Plastic from 1986 to 2015 as a laborer and maintenance worker, and that during all those years he would spend eight hours, once a week, dumping 50-pound bags of asbestos-contaminated talc into hoppers. He was provided with no safety equipment to protect him from breathing in the deadly fibers and was never told of the presence of asbestos.
Though the company argued that it should not be held responsible for Rugg’s mesothelioma, a former president of the company admitted to having been told of the asbestos in the mines, and the Canadian talc suppler from which the company purchased the talc confirmed that they’d regularly provided them with test results that confirmed the presence of asbestos fibers.
Expert Witness Speaks to Role of Tremolite Asbestos in Mesothelioma
In support of the mesothelioma victim’s case, an industrial hygiene expert explained how Rugg’s specific job duties would have exposed him to high levels of tremolite asbestos, which has been linked to mesothelioma. A historian also explained how workers’ compensation laws in Pennsylvania address compensation for asbestos-related injuries.
In addition to scientific and legal information, the jury heard testimony from the mesothelioma victim’s family about how he had suffered with the disease and of how his loss had impacted them. Rugg had been a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather who had been active in his family’s life and had lived on the same property as his children. The jury provided the family with compensation of $3,822,231.96 for future lost Social Security benefits, loss of household services, loss of consortium and damages under the Wrongful Death and Survival Acts.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, you need resources and support. The Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net are here to provide both. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.
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