A California jury awarded a retired Navy admiral and his wife more than $2.5 million after finding that Metalclad Insulation LLC negligently failed to recall asbestos-containing insulation it supplied to Navy yards or warn workers that its products were dangerous, Law360 reports.

Rear Adm. Ronald Wilgenbusch, 82, has mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. He claimed that he was exposed to asbestos while installing and removing Metalclad-supplied insulation. The insulation was packaged in boxes that did not have warning labels that the enclosed materials contained asbestos. Workers at the Navy yard were also never informed that they should wear protective masks or other gear while handling the insulation.

Wilgenbusch was awarded about$1.8 million and his wife, Judith, was awarded $750,000, both for non-economic and economic damages. The jury did not award punitive damages. Metalclad was the only named defendant, but the jury found that 10 other companies bore some responsibility and the Navy bore more than half.

About two-thirds of mesothelioma diagnoses are among Veterans. One reason is that asbestos was widely used in almost all branches of the military from the 1930s to the 1980s. Asbestos is a mineral with natural fire resistance, insulating qualities, and fireproofing capabilities, which made it a key component for several materials used by the military.

Asbestos was especially prevalent in Navy shipyards and ships built by the Navy before the mid-1970s. Asbestos was mostly found in engine and boiler rooms and other areas below deck. Navy veterans, like Wilgenbusch, have the highest rate of asbestos-related diseases among all military personnel.

Mesothelioma litigation

Beasley Allen lawyers handle mesothelioma claims. They are looking at cases of industrial, occupational and secondary asbestos exposure resulting in lung cancer or mesothelioma as well as claims of asbestos-related talc products linked to mesothelioma. Charlie Stern in our Toxic Torts Section is the lead attorney working on these types of cases. As an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, Charlie is well equipped to tackle asbestos cases, which are highly complicated and require someone with a true understanding of the facts, medical issues, science and law. Contact us for more information.

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