$11.2 Million Awarded to Mesothelioma Victim Who Dismantled World War II Ships

A Tacoma jury awarded a mesothelioma victim over $11 million in damages after hearing testimony about his employers’ extreme negligence in its handling of asbestos. Dennis Woodruff was diagnosed with the rare and fatal form of cancer after having worked for Zidell Dismantling, tearing down World War II ships that were heavily contaminated with the carcinogenic material.

Company’s Negligence Caused Mesothelioma and Environmental Damage

In testimony presented during the mesothelioma lawsuit, Mr. Woodruff’s team described the harm that he suffered as a result of their failure to protect him from the effects of asbestos known to be contained within the walls of the ships that he was dismantling. Navy ships built for use during World War II made heavy use of the mineral, which was both inexpensive and extremely effective at providing insulation from heat and fire. It was only after the material was used that its dangers became widely known. Decades later, countless Navy veterans have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases.

Mr. Woodruff’s exposure to asbestos came when he worked for Zidell between 1970 and 1973, when the company contracted with the Port of Tacoma to do the work. Not only did they fail to provide respiratory protection or warning to their workers, the company also reneged on their promise to the port that the work site would be safe and that they would comply with all pertinent safety regulations. Fifty years later, the site continues to be contaminated with asbestos as a result of the company’s careless practices.

Dusty Conditions Described During Mesothelioma Lawsuit

The jury heard details of the dusty conditions present in Mr. Woodruff’s work environment, as well as the pain and suffering he was forced to endure as a result of his mesothelioma. Though the company’s attorneys argued that Mr. Woodruff’s illness was his own responsibility and that he should have chosen to wear a respirator, the jury awarded him $11.2 million in damages to be paid by Woodruff’s employer’s sister company, Zidell Explorations. 

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Paul Danziger

Paul Danziger


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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