A South Carolina jury awarded $700,000 to the family of a man who died from mesothelioma, following the asbestos exposure he experienced on the job in the 1950s. As our readers should know, mesothelioma is a rare asbestos-related cancer. Thomas Firth was diagnosed with mesothelioma in November 2006 and died from the cancer on July 13, 2007. Firth and his family filed a lawsuit against Garlock Sealing Technologies, a global leader in high-performance fluid sealing products for the world’s processing industries, alleging the company was responsible for his exposure to asbestos that occurred when he worked as a mechanic’s assistant at a Bethlehem Steel Corporation plant in Sparrows Point, Maryland.
Mr. Firth worked with Garlock gaskets and packing on many pumps and valves found on a variety of coke ovens, used to heat and control coal. The jury determined Garlock failed to warn Mr. Firth, and others who used its products, of the inherent dangers associated with handling these asbestos-containing products.
Mr. Firth’s only known exposure to asbestos occurred at the plant in Maryland in the 1950s. Though he worked at the plant for less than a year, the asbestos exposure Mr. Firth experienced on the job led to his mesothelioma diagnosis. Mesothelioma develops when asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested into the body. The fibers then become lodged in organs or cavities, causing inflammation and infection. Patients with mesothelioma typically do not demonstrate symptoms of mesothelioma for 20 to 50 years after initial exposure to asbestos occurred.
If you would like more information or have any questions about asbestos exposure, you can contact Mike Andrews (Mike.Andrews@beasleyallen.com) or Ben Locklar (Ben.Locklar@beasleyallen.com) in our office at 800-898-2034.
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