Nevada Jury Awards $15.6 Million to Electrician with Mesothelioma

After John Wagner was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, he and his wife Denise filed a product liability lawsuit against Eaton Corporation, an electrical supply company whose products they blamed for his illness. They accused the company of having knowingly exposed him to asbestos over the fifty years that he worked as an electrician, and after listening to testimony in the case, a Nevada jury agreed and awarded the couple $15.6 million in damages.

Asbestos-Contaminated Components Central to Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Though Eaton Corporation denied responsibility for Mr. Wagner’s mesothelioma, the jury heard compelling testimony about his many years of working as an electrician. He described having worked in commercial and industrial settings as well as doing residential work throughout his career, and of having done so with the faith that the products he was working with were safe. It was only after his diagnosis with the rare and deadly form of cancer that he discovered the motor starters and controllers manufactured by Eaton had been contaminated with asbestos. 

After being told he had mesothelioma and that the disease is caused by exposure to asbestos, Wagner and his team discovered that the sanding, filing, and manipulating of Eaton’s plastic-molded housings and arc shields required in his job had led to asbestos fibers being released into the air, where he inhaled them. Though the company’s attorneys presented expert witnesses to deny their responsibility for his illness, the jury believed the victim’s experts when they explained that there were enough of those fibers present to lead to Wagner’s terminal illness.

Jury Told of Asbestos Company’s Negligence in Electrician’s Mesothelioma

In their convincing presentation to the Washoe County jury, the mesothelioma victim’s attorneys explained the care that he had taken throughout his career and spoke of the company’s negligence in failing to provide him with the information he needed to make an informed decision about his own work environment and products. “To be an electrician, you must be able to identify and anticipate potential dangers, and John was an exceptional electrician who was skilled at navigating known life-threatening risks,” he said. “The asbestos content in these products was only known to Eaton, and the company made a business decision not to share that information. Because of that, a dedicated craftsman like John could not take the necessary precautions to protect himself.”

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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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