Dow Chemical said on August 22 that they plan to appeal. Dow, according to a report, would be liable for a portion of the $5.95 million awarded to plaintiff Sidney Mabile, a former electrician who was diagnosed with asbestos mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a rare but serious form of asbestos cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. The asbestos disease can incubate in the body for decades before finally emerging, reducing lung capacity of asbestosis patients and often tying them to a constant supply of oxygen. There is no cure.
As is the case with most asbestos claims, mesothelioma is considered a death sentence.
According to various reports, Mabile worked for an electrical contractor that sent him to perform work at a Dow Chemical facility. It was while working at the facility, according to Business Wire (8/22/13), that Mabile alleges he was exposed to asbestos fibers.
What’s more, in a damning commentary to the values of some major corporations, Mabile’s asbestosis attorney alleged that Dow had predicted some portion of its direct workforce, as well as contract workers, could potentially be at risk for cancer - but that it would be more cost-effective for Dow Chemical to continue employing the use of asbestos in its chemical manufacturing processes. Asbestos lawyers representing the plaintiff cited internal Dow Chemical documents dating back to 1970.
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In a statement, Dow said, “We believe the credible evidence introduced at trial demonstrated that Mr. Mabile’s disease was not caused by his work at Dow’s facility. Dow will now pursue its rights through post-trial motions and the appellate process, and will continue to vigorously defend all asbestos claims brought against the company.”
The asbestos lawsuit was tried over a period of four weeks at the 18th Judicial District Court for Iberville Parish and presided over by Judge Donald M. Fendlason. The jury held that Dow Chemical was responsible under theories of negligence and unreasonably dangerous premises.
According to the report, asbestos cancer continues to claim about 3,000 lives each year in the US.