$2.3 Million Awarded to Wife of Mesothelioma Victim in Upholding of February Verdict

Judge Mark I. Bernstein, of Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court, ruled to uphold a February verdict against Crane Co., DAP Inc., Duro Dyne Corp., The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., and Goodyear Canada Inc. The suit, which was filed by Charlotte Vinciguerra in June, 2012, was on behalf of Mrs. Vinciguerra’s late husband, Frank Vinciguerra, who passed away in November, 2010. Mr. Vinciguerra was employed as a sheet metal helper and mechanic for E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co. for three decades, where he developed malignant mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure. He was diagnosed only several months before his passing.

In their attempt to get a new trial, the defendants alleged that an expert witness for the plaintiff violated a precedent set in the 2012 case of Betz v. Pneumo Abex LLC, which ruled inadmissible the theory that “every breath” of asbestos-containing fiber is a factor in the development of mesothelioma. Judge Bernstein refuted this claim, stating that no witness made such a statement of opinion. The defendants’ were referencing the testimony of Dr. Steven Markowitz, which explained the cumulative effect of asbestos exposure—precisely what Mrs. Vinciguerra claimed caused her husband’s fatal disease.

As a result of Judge Bernstein’s ruling, Mrs. Vinciguerra is to be awarded $2,286,376.44.

As asbestos’s harmful properties became apparent in the mid-twentieth century, companies and corporations inherited the responsibility to ensure safe work environments for their employees. Diagnoses of mesothelioma, which has a lengthy latency period, have increased in recent history, as many people who worked throughout the industrial era have been stricken with the disease. Numerous law suits, such as Mrs. Vinciguerra’s, are currently being filed due to employers’ failure to help prevent exposure to hazardous conditions in the workplace.

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