SEATTLE--()--An 89-year-old Lynnwood woman represented by Bergman Draper Ladenburg won $1.1 million in a King County courtroom earlier this week after a jury agreed that exposure to asbestos from her husband’s work clothes caused her to contract a rare form of cancer that will likely lead to her death.
“But more importantly, the verdict shows that asbestos exposure has significantly impacted people who were not present at contaminated work sites at all. We believe that the sites had a present imperative to warn their employees about the risk of asbestos contact and also subsequent dispersion.”
Phyllis Granville brought the case against 13 defendants, claiming they negligently manufactured and sold floor tiles that were unsafe because they contained asbestos. According to court documents, her husband, Donald Granville, a floor tile installer, was exposed to asbestos from the defendants’ products while at work, which he in turn brought home on his clothes and exposed his wife of 70 years to.
“This was an extraordinarily difficult case to bring to trial, and we are very pleased we were able to provide the Granvilles some measure of financial security while they fight the effects of this horrible disease,” Matthew Bergman, founder of Bergman Draper Ladenburg and the Granvilles’ attorney, said. “In most cases, mesothelioma victims had direct exposure to asbestos. While the science is clear that people like Donald can bring it home on clothes and transmit it through hugging his wife, or having her wash his clothes, these concepts are much more difficult to illustrate to a jury.”
According to Bergman, the asbestos-related mesothelioma has had a devastating effect on Phyllis, rendering her unable to breathe without oxygen, leaving her homebound. Her physicians expect that the disease, which surrounds and ultimately obliterates the lung, will be fatal.
“I never imagined Donald’s work would ever end up giving me cancer,” said Phyllis. “The manufacturers didn’t warn him about the risk of bringing asbestos home with him. It’s hard enough for us to start battling my mesothelioma, but now Donald is afraid he’s going to contract it too. We’re so thankful Bergman Draper Ladenburg helped us to get the verdict.”
The case was filed with the Seattle King County Court in September 2012, where the case spent four weeks at trial throughout January 2013. After careful deliberation, the jury reached a final verdict of $1.1 million to be paid to Granville and her husband.
According to Bergman, the verdict represents a crucial development in asbestos litigation. “The jury recognized that demonstrable harm has been done to asbestos victims,” said Bergman. “But more importantly, the verdict shows that asbestos exposure has significantly impacted people who were not present at contaminated work sites at all. We believe that the sites had a present imperative to warn their employees about the risk of asbestos contact and also subsequent dispersion.”
About Bergman Draper Ladenburg
Bergman Draper Ladenburg is a Seattle-based law firm that focuses on representing individuals and families who have been harmed by more powerful interests. The firm built its reputation on serious asbestos disease claims and is expanding its practice to benzene and predatory lending cases. Matthew Bergman is the firm’s managing partner and one of seven lawyers across the nation who negotiated a $4 billion national settlement with the Halliburton Corporation for its asbestos liabilities, approximately $30 million of which went to Bergman Draper Ladenburg clients residing primarily in the Pacific Northwest. For more information, visit www.bergmanlegal.com.