An 84-year-old Washington state man has won a lawsuit filed against his former employers after he developed mesothelioma from asbestos exposure.
Vashon resident Roger Hammett was diagnosed with mesothelioma in August 2010 after being rushed to the hospital because of difficulty breathing. He had previously been diagnosed with asthma and thought his condition was simply getting worse until doctors told him he had a terminal form of cancer which affects the protective tissue surrounding the lungs.
Physicians later determined that he had mesothelioma which was then linked to asbestos exposure. Specifically, doctors believed that Mr. Hammett was exposed to asbestos in 1966, when he worked for just 67 days as an employee of Sea-Land Services, Inc. During the time he was employed by Sea-Land, Mr. Hammett worked aboard several boats the company owned and it is believed that he was exposed to asbestos contained in the ships’ insulation.
After being diagnosed with mesothelioma, Mr. Hammett and his wife Anita chose to file suit against Sea-Land Services, Inc. After a week-long trial, a jury awarded the couple $1.45 million in damages for pain and suffering, permanent disability and loss of quality of life. Mr. Hammett also agreed to a smaller settlement with Washington State Ferries, where he was also exposed to asbestos.
Although the couple considers the verdict a victory, Mr. Hammett has expressed anger over the company’s carelessness, which has effectively shortened his life span. Doctors recently informed him that he has less than a year to live and Mr. Hammett has stated he will use the money to pay for hospice care so he can eventually die comfortably at home.
Mesothelioma symptoms may not appear until 20 to 50 years after exposure someone has been exposed to asbestos. Cases like Mr. Hammett’s may become more common as more workers age. The diagnosis rates are particularly high among individuals who worked in maritime settings and in certain industrial jobs, such as paper mill workers. Washington reportedly has the highest mesothelioma rate in the country, primarily because of the large number of maritime and industrial businesses in the state.
If you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos in the workplace, you need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. The law firm of Nadrich & Cohen LLP is available to assist mesothelioma victims and their families with proving their claim for compensation.
Our Injury Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1-800-722-0765. Your initial case evaluation is free and there is never a fee unless we recover a judgment on your behalf. Contact Nadrich & Cohen today to put our experienced team of mesothelioma experts to work for you.