A man who worked as a pipefitter in Nevada and Northern California has won a $3.5 million settlement after developing mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs and is caused by exposure to toxic asbestos.
According to a recent press release by the lawyers who represented Franklin Ham, the plaintiff was able to recall the names of the manufacturers of many of the products and also the names of the companies that supplied the products to his employers. Suits were filed against several of these companies, resulting in a total compensation reward of $3.5 million. All but one company settled out of court before the start of a trial, according to the release.
The remaining company, a Nevada insulation supplier is an inactive corporation. However, they are still liable for harm. The law firm representing Mr. Ham has filed a default judgment against them in the amount of $2.6 million. The insurance company for the inactive corporation refused to participate in the lawsuit even though it was given ample notice and opportunity to do so.
The plaintiff is a retired union pipe fitter who worked for various companies throughout western Nevada and Northern California prior to the asbestos warnings of the mid 1970s. He was recently diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a disease which strikes about 3,000 Americans each year. The disease is always fatal and patients usually die within 3 to 6 months of diagnosis.