Objection to $5 Million Mesothelioma Verdict Centers on Question of Recklessness

Donald and Linda Miller’s mesothelioma lawsuit against Kaiser Gypsum Company accused the company of acting recklessly. An Oregon jury agreed and ordered the company to pay the couple more than $6.2 million in damages. Though that amount was later reduced to $5.2 million, the company still objected to being held responsible, and appealed the verdict. Despite their arguments, the Oregon Court of Appeals allowed the jury’s decision to stand.


Mesothelioma Blamed on 1960s Exposure to Kaiser Gypsum Product

The mesothelioma victim and his wife blamed his illness on a variety of products to which he was exposed over the years, and filed suit against several companies.  With the exception of Kaiser Gypsum, the case against each company was either dismissed or a private settlement was negotiated with the couple.  

That left only Kaiser Gypsum to face the mesothelioma victim in court. The Millers pointed to the years 1966 through 1969, the years when he’d worked as a mechanical insulator in close proximity to the company’s joint compound. After hearing the evidence, the jury agreed that the company had been negligent in failing to warn about the dangers of asbestos in their product.

Kaiser Gypsum’s Appeal of Mesothelioma Verdict Denied

After the jury decided in favor of the mesothelioma victim, Kaiser Gypsum appealed, arguing that the jury’s decision was wrong based on the evidence that had been presented to them. They also argued that the judge erred in failing to order a directed verdict in their favor, and that mistakes had been made in the directions given to the jury about the term “recklessness.”

On hearing Kaiser Gypsum’s case, the Oregon Court of Appeals determined that the jury’s verdict should stand, and that the compensation was rightly awarded to the mesothelioma victim. Their analysis concluded that the jury instructions had appropriately defined recklessness and distinguished it from intentional misconduct. They ruled that there was sufficient evidence that the asbestos in the joint compound contributed to Mr. Miller’s illness and allowed the family to keep the award.

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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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