Landmark $3M verdict awarded in mesothelioma lawsuit

November 17th, 2006

A New Jersey woman has been awarded a $3.35 million verdict in a mesothelioma lawsuit brought against mining company R.T. Vanderbilt and dealers Hammill & Gillispie. Bonnie Parker filed the mesothelioma and asbestos lawsuit on behalf of her husband, Peter Hirsch, who died in April 2004, just 19 months after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis.

Hirsch owned and operated a pottery studio in Livingston, New Jersey for seven years, during which time he routinely used talc to mix the glaze used in his pottery. According to his widow’s mesothelioma attorney, each time Hirsch opened a bag of talc it created a fine dust that remained in the air for a long period of time.

Parker’s mesothelioma lawsuit alleged that this talc dust was contaminated with asbestos and that inhaling it over the course of seven years led to her husband’s mesothelioma diagnosis. The jury in the case agreed both that the talc was contaminated with asbestos fibers, and that Vanderbilt and Hammill & Gillispie were responsible for Hirsch’s death from mesothelioma symptoms.

The case was hailed by Parker’s mesothelioma attorney as a landmark decision. The verdict was the first U.S. verdict ever awarded that connected industrial talc powder with a patient who had received a mesothelioma diagnosis.

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