In what is believed to be the largest award in a single plaintiff’s asbestos case, a jury has awarded $322 million to a 48-year-old man who is suffering from asbestosis and has to be on oxygen 24 hours a day.
The jury awarded $300 million in punitive damages and $22 million in actual damages, and found the defendants were liable for defectively designing their product and failing to provide an adequate warning to workers.
The lawsuit, filed against Chevron Phillips Chemical Company and Union Carbide Corp., states the man worked in the oil field from the age of 16 in 1979 to the mid-1980s and mixed an asbestos drilling additive. It was during this time, the lawsuit claims, he inhaled the harmful substance.
The drilling mud was manufactured by Union Carbide and sold by Chevron Phillips. The two companies are accused of continuing to market the almost 100% asbestos product after they knew it caused cancer and lung disease.