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California family receives millions in mesothelioma lawsuit

Mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer which results from asbestos-exposure. Asbestos is a workplace hazard that continues to threaten the lives of American workers, including those in Los Angeles, California. Asbestos-related diseases can not only affect the job performance of exposed workers, it may also kill them.

One California family was recently awarded $11 million in damages in a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of their deceased father. The father was a former auto parts worker who died due to mesothelioma. The wrongful death claim was levied against Pneumo Abex LLC in June 2012.

According to the lawsuit, the father repaired heavy duty vehicles from 1965 up to 1999. As an auto parts worker, he regularly replaced, inspected, grinded and blew out the dust from asbestos-containing brakes, and because of this, he was exposed to high levels of the dangerous material. The victim was diagnosed with mesothelioma in January 2010 and died from the disease in October 2011. The lawsuit was seeking compensation for the family's loss of companionship and other punitive damages. The lawsuit alleged that Pneumo Abex, the employer, knew the dangers of asbestos-exposure but failed to properly warn the victim about its risks.

Asbestos is a known workplace hazard of which every employer should be mindful. Although illnesses caused by asbestos exposure may take decades to be detected, it may take a great toll on the worker once it is diagnosed. An asbestos-related disease may lead to long-term medical expenses, emotional distress and other costs.

However, a California worker who suffers from an asbestos-related illness may be eligible to receive workers' compensation. If the disease tragically leads to death, then surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the deceased's employer.

Source: Legal Newsline, "Calif. Jury awards mesothelioma victim's family in $11M in wrongful death lawsuit," Heather Isringhausen Gvillo, Feb. 5, 2014

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