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Mesothelioma Settlements Amounts on the Rise: Reuters

According to a Reuters special report, mesothelioma settlements amounts in 2012 rose dramatically compared to the decade before. The resurgence in claims corresponds to the prognosis of asbestos-exposed mesothelioma victims who had received their diagnosis just a few years prior.

One case with nine defendants consisting of huge industry names like GE and Westinghouse commanded a $7 million verdict. The plaintiff in this case was the estate of Richard Merwitz, who succumbed to mesothelioma in 2010.

Eight of the nine original defendants consented to a settlement agreement before the trial, but the final defendant, Rockbestos-Surprenant Cable Corp., opted to bring the case to trial. “Rockbestos intended to assert all of its defenses and to let the jury decide the case,” noted one attorney involved with the trial. “The jury rejected them all.”

In total, the average award has risen since the mid-2000s when cases like the Merwitz Estates’ saw a resurgence. In 2009, the average award was $6.3 million. In 2010, it was $17.6 million. It fell to $10.5 million in 2011, but still remained at levels much higher than many insurance companies and specially-created trusts anticipated.

Individuals seeking damages have a long litigious battle ahead of them, but in many ways they have a better chance than ever of receiving their due compensation.

A Rise in Mesothelioma Settlements Amounts For Victims

Corresponding with the rise in legal action against companies for asbestos use is an increase in the number of plaintiffs with confirmable mesothelioma diagnoses or similar asbestos-caused health conditions. One firm notes that, in the past, many asbestos exposure plaintiffs were designated as unimpaired — they were not suffering any obvious health consequences and did not have a confirmed mesothelioma diagnosis. If you want to find out more about mesothelioma and its causes you might want to check out somewhere like https://www.mesotheliomahelp.org for more information.

Now, tragically, that is no longer the case. Many of the victims coming forward have been directly exposed to asbestos either through their employer’s environment or as a result of entering buildings, structures and vessels that have been contaminated with asbestos fibers.

One victim and successful claimant was Heather Von St. James, who was a daughter of a drywall sander who often worked with products containing asbestos. The dust on her father’s coat would enter her lungs when she would greet her father at the door with enthusiastic hugs. She would even wear the coat on her way outside to feed her pet rabbits.

She was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2005, just a few weeks after the birth of her……

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