The family of retired janitor and Navy veteran Bobby Hilt has seen some victories in their pursuit of justice for his mesothelioma diagnosis, but their battle is not over yet. After winning a $7.5 million settlement from several asbestos defendants in 2008, they turned their attention to others that refused to negotiate and that insisted that the case be dismissed. The U.S. District Court in California recently heard both sides and agreed that the case should be heard by a jury to determine whether these recalcitrant companies should also be held responsible.
California Mesothelioma Victim Suffered Extensive Exposure to Asbestos
When Mr. Hilt was first diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in early 2008, he looked back at his work history and found significant exposure to asbestos. He had worked as a janitor cleaning around asbestos-contaminated boilers at the Schlage Lock Company, had installed valves and pumps that used asbestos-contaminated gaskets when working for the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, and had served on new construction ships and submarines equipped with asbestos-contaminated boilers and pipe insulation.
He filed mesothelioma lawsuits against 11 defendants and won a $7.5 million settlement from several of them, but the manufacturer responsible for the boilers in place on two of the ships that he’d worked on filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that there was no proof that the asbestos-contaminated parts he’d been exposed to had been in their equipment. A lower court agreed with them, but Mr. Hilt’s family appealed that decision. The U.S. District Court in California overruled the lower courts, granting the original motion.
Foster Wheeler Loses Argument Against Answering for Mesothelioma
The manufacturer that filed the motion to dismiss the mesothelioma lawsuit was Foster Wheeler, manufacturer of boilers in place on the U.S.S. Constellation and U.S.S. Bradley. Mr. Hilt had testified to having inhaled “lots of dust” around their equipment, and the judges ruled that because the ships had been new when Mr. Hilt worked on them it was reasonable to believe that the parts had been part of the original construction. The case will now move to a jury.
Page Reviewed and Edited by Mesothelioma Attorney 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.