Record asbestos settlement
In what was surely a bittersweet victory, the family of a deceased mesothelioma victim in Kansas City, MO was recently awarded $10 million by a Circuit Court judge. The award was the largest asbestos settlement in Missouri’s history.
The original plaintiff, Nancy Lopez, claimed that an asbestos build-up in the Jackson County Courthouse had caused her illness. Mesothelioma is a quick-striking cancer that often occurs years after exposure. Lopez’s case was especially unusual because she’d not been directly working with asbestos, as have many other mesothelioma sufferers.
Lopez filed suit in March, 2010, but died seven months later. She’d been employee of the courthouse for thirty-two years.
Naming the asbestos removal company
According to the St. Joseph News-Press, Lopez specifically blamed the engineering firm U.S. Engineering Co. for mishandling asbestos during several removal attempts.
“U.S. Engineering didn’t follow proper rules and procedures,” said Lopez’s lawyer, Lou Accurso. “And there are still significant amounts of asbestos in the courthouse.”
Accurso noted that asbestos dust had built up around the courthouse’s heating and air conditioning units.
Office workers at risk
A second, class-action, asbestos lawsuit is currently making its way through the Missouri courts, filed on behalf of several more courthouse employees.