Conoco Phillips Appeals $15.2 Million Judgment in Asbestos Lawsuit
Conoco Phillips Corp. has filed an appeal in a Mississippi court challenging a jury verdict which awarded a former employee millions in an asbestos lawsuit.
Troy Lofton worked for CP Chem, a division of Conoco Phillips, for years as an oil and well drilling worker. In his suit, Lofton claimed that over a period of 20 years, he was exposed to asbestos in products manufactured and shipped by CP Chem. The product he refers to was a form of “asbestos mud” that was shipped in large bags that were regularly handled by Mr. Lofton and other employees. The mud allegedly consisted of 99% asbestos. Mr. Lofton also alleged that the company knew of the asbestos contamination and failed to take precautionary measures to protect the workers’ safety.
In 2004, Mr. Lofton was diagnosed with asbestosis, a condition that features scarring and inflammation of the lungs, typically caused by exposure to asbestos. If left untreated, asbestosis can lead to mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Since his diagnosis, Mr. Lofton claims he has to remain on oxygen 24 hours a day in order to breathe.
In 2010, a Jones County, Mississippi jury awarded Mr. Lofton a $15.2 million judgment against Conoco Phillips and CP Chem. The company denied all of the allegations made by Mr. Lofton and has since filed an appeal. The Mississippi Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in the case beginning January 30, 2012.
Asbestosis is caused by exposure to asbestos over long periods of time. The primary symptoms of this condition include shortness of breath, dry cough and a general feeling of being unwell. Mesothelioma is typically associated with more severe forms of these symptoms. According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 2,500 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year.
One of the primary issues associated with asbestosis and mesothelioma is that these conditions can take years to develop, meaning many workers will not realize the full effects of asbestos exposure until later in life. If a case of mesothelioma is diagnosed too late, the chances of surviving the disease are slim.
It’s uncertain whether Mr. Lofton’s condition will worsen but it seems likely he will require extensive and costly medical care for the rest of his life. While the judgment he received may help cover some of the costs, they cannot make up for the decrease in quality of life he has experienced as a result of being exposed to asbestos.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with asbestosis or mesothelioma that you believe was caused by exposure in the workplace, you need to take immediate action to protect your rights. Contacting a qualified personal injury attorney is the first step in getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
The injury lawyers at Nadrich & Cohen LLP are available to assist asbestosis and mesothelioma victims in all 50 states. Call our Injury Hotline today at 1-800-722-0765 to schedule your free initial case evaluation. Don’t hesitate to call us today to get the legal representation you need to prove your asbestos injury claim.