After a two-week trial, a Philadelphia County jury awarded $7.25 million to the family of a man who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2010, and consequently died six months later. The asbestos lawsuit verdict was rendered against several asbestos manufacturers, all of which played a role in his development of the disease.
According to court reports, Langhorne, Pennsylvania resident Edward Merwitz worked in the lower compartment of warships during his time in the United States Navy in the 1960s. While working, he was exposed to a multitude of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). His exposure stemmed from extensive work on various parts and supplies, such as gaskets, pumps, electric motors, pipe covering, insulation, and more. Not only was Merwitz never given any warnings regarding the risks and dangers of asbestos exposure, but he was also never provided any safety gear or protective clothing.
One of the defendants named in the lawsuit, Rockbestos, claimed that a witness who used to work with Merwitz stated that asbestos in the products provided by Rockbestos was never identified. The company then went on to claim that the electric wires Merwitz worked around was not the cause of his mesothelioma and that his duties around the wires was so infrequent that there was no way it could have caused him any asbestos-related medical issues.
The jury, however, didn’t buy Rockbestos’ defense, and rejected all of their statements. Rockbestos was last company standing in defense. The majority of the other companies named in the lawsuit settled with the plaintiff previously, including:
- Buffalo Pumps
- General Electric Company
- Greene Tweed & Company, Inc.
- Warren Pumps LLC
- Square D Company
Prior to the trial, Rockbestos offered a settlement amount of $2,500, which is quickly rejected. Instead, the company is now liable for $3.6 million in wrongful death damages and $3.2 million in survivor benefits, which covers their share of the total $7.25 million verdict.
“This was a bitterly contested case over the full course of the two week trial. As other defendants settled, it was clear that defendant Rockbestos intended to assert all of its defenses, and to let the jury decide the case. The jury rejected them all,” the attorney for the victim’s family stated after the trial.
Merwitz is survived by his wife Carol and their two daughters. They were all happy with the jury’s decision.
“Mrs. Merwitz and her two daughters were ecstatic. They understand that each defendant only pays its share and feel that justice was done,” their attorney added.
Keep in mind that if you or your loved one developed an illness due to asbestos exposure, the responsible party should be held liable. You may be entitled to compensatory damages for pain, suffering, emotional trauma, medical expenses, and much more. For more information on your legal rights and options, contact our experienced asbestos attorneys today for a free case consultation.