$10 Million Award After Peritoneal Mesothelioma is Blamed on Asbestos in Brake Gaskets

Five years after being diagnosed with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, Marlena Robaey died of the disease at the age of 68. Before her death, she and her husband filed suit against the companies they blamed for her illness. Though their original jury award of over $75 million was struck down as unreasonable, the appeals court upheld the guilty verdict. They reduced the couple’s award to over $10 million.

woman repairing brakes

Jury Determined that Mesothelioma Was Caused by Exposure to Automotive Maintenance Dust

Though attorneys representing the defendants argued against it, the Robaeys asserted that asbestos in automotive brake gaskets manufactured by Dana Companies, Fel-Pro, and others was responsible for Marlena’s diagnosis with peritoneal mesothelioma. The jury heard details of how Marlena and Ed had spent time together as he, a mechanic, automotive enthusiast, and drag racer, worked on his cars. 

The Robaey’s explained that the mesothelioma victim had helped her husband to overhaul his vehicles’ engines for two decades, and described asbestos dust rising from worn gaskets. Neither had been aware that the asbestos was dangerous, as there were no warning labels on the gaskets or their packaging.

Jury’s Award Follows Description of Mesothelioma’s Impact

Mrs. Robaey was placed in hospice shortly after providing deposition testimony, and was unable to attend her own mesothelioma proceedings. The jury was told of the multiple operations and procedures that she’d endured and of her chronic and continuing pain. In response they awarded her $50 million for past and future pain and suffering and awarded her husband $25 million for loss of consortium.

The asbestos companies appealed the mesothelioma award and verdict, arguing that it had been wrongly decided and that they award was excessive. Though the jury’s decision was upheld, the appeals court reduced the award for Mrs. Robaey’s pain and suffering to $9.5 million and Mr. Robaey’s loss of consortium award to $900,000. 

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Paul Danziger

Paul Danziger

Reviewer and Editor

Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.

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