Finding out that you have an asbestos-related illness even through you’ve neither worked with asbestos nor spent time in a building containing it can be shocking, but for many who are diagnosed with these types of diseases, the source of their exposure often lies with family members. When employees at companies with poor or nonexistent decontamination procedures regarding asbestos came home after a long day of working around asbestos-containing products, they brought those fibers home on their clothes and on their bodies, unknowingly exposing family members to the deadly carcinogen.
Unfortunately, this was the case for Leonard Cox, a West Virginia banker who was diagnosed with mesothelioma at the age of 52. Leonard Cox never worked with asbestos, but his father was an asbestos insulation installer for DuPont’s Belle plant for nearly 30 years, where A&I Company products were used. Leonard was exposed to the asbestos dust that traveled home on his father’s clothing; a condition known as household, or secondhand, asbestos exposure.
In March 2002, following a two-week long trial in Kanawha County, West Virginia, a jury ordered DuPont to pay $6.5 million to Leonard Cox’s family as compensation for pain, suffering, medical bills and lost wages.
The case was heard by Kanawha County Circuit Judge Andrew MacQueen and Ohio County Circuit Judge Martin Gaughan in the Robert C. Byrd United States courthouse in Charleston, W. Va.
For more information about household asbestos exposure, see Anne Kearse’s article “Household Asbestos Exposure Cases: Innocent Victims” published by South Carolina Trial Lawyer.
If you have questions or would like to explore your legal rights regarding a potential mesothelioma or asbestos lawsuit, please contact attorney John Herrick or Anne McGinness Kearse by email or call 1.800.768.4026.
While Motley Rice litigates asbestos cases across the country, we are proud to have two offices in West Virginia, located in Charleston and Morgantown.