At the conclusion of a two-week trial, a Los Angeles jury returned a $43 million verdict for a woman who claimed that she developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos in the workplace. The finding marks one of the largest damage awards in an asbestos trial since courtrooms were reopened after the COVID-19 outbreak paused such litigation.
The lawsuit, filed in 2019, was brought forth by a couple who claimed that asbestos at Algoma Hardwoods was responsible for one of the partner’s mesothelioma. The jury found that Algoma Hardwoods was negligent because it knew about the presence of asbestos in its fireproof doors.
According to a mesothelioma advocacy group, the ruling is similar to a $32 million verdict issued last year in South Carolina. In that trial, a woman claimed to have developed mesothelioma from doing laundry for her husband, who had been exposed to asbestos at work and carried asbestos dust home on his work clothing.
Acquired by Masonite International in 2012, Algoma has faced other asbestos lawsuits before. Former workers have filed similar lawsuits, accusing the company of failing to disclose that its fire-proof doors that it manufacturers contained trace amounts of asbestos particulates.
In other asbestos news, Johnson & Johnson may have to face asbestos lawsuits after the same judge that allowed the company to form a subunit—LTL Management—to hold its talc liabilities and then declare bankruptcy, said he’s considering reopening certain asbestos lawsuits.
This is an ongoing news story and will be updated in the future.