Family of Forklift Operator Awarded $1.2 Million for Occupational Exposure to Mesothelioma


February 27, 2011

A Baltimore, MD jury awarded $2.8 Million to the family of Daniel Edwards, a forklift operator who died in 2008 of mesothelioma, which was contracted after years of exposure at his place of work. Edwards worked unloading bags of raw asbestos with a forklift for 6 years at Charlotte, North Carolina-based National Gypsum Co.

The verdict was granted against Union Carbide, which mined and supplied the asbestos to National Gypsum Company. Union Carbide failed to warn workers unloading the asbestos about the health risks associated with asbestos exposure.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that primarily affects the lining of the lungs. In less common cases, the heart and abdomen can also be affected by mesothelioma cancer. Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 cases of malignant mesothelioma are diagnosed each year in the U.S. An overwhelming body of scientific and medical evidence has proven that the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. The jury verdict against Union Carbide was based on its failure to warn Edwards and others unloading the asbestos supplied by the company of the potential risks despite a wealth of medical literature and internal company documents showing an awareness of the risk as early as 1967.

Evidence was introduced showing that between 1969 and 1975 Union Carbide supplied in excess of 2.4 million pounds of raw asbestos to National Gypsum Company. Co-workers testified that they had lifted the 35-pound bags and dropped them onto Edwards' forklift, which would create a cloud of asbestos fibers. A single asbestos fiber is invisible to the naked eye so if the fibers are visible the exposure is dangerously high. Internal corporate documents obtained from Union Carbide shows that they were aware of the risks from occupational asbestos exposure as early as 1967 but still made no effort to warn those charged with loading and unloading the bags of asbestos which they delivered. Whenever asbestos is disturbed, carcinogenic asbestos fibers become airborne. These fibers are easily inhaled and lodge in the lungs where they fester for decades eventually leading to the development of mesothelioma.

If you or someone you love has developed mesothelioma or other asbestos related diseases, contact Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, to get the legal help you need to seek compensation for your injuries or the wrongful death of your loved one. We have been helping Georgia Families for 27 years. Our Georgia mesothelioma attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

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