Former Employee in Montana Wins Millions in Asbestos Injury Case

March 10, 2022

Former Employee in Montana Wins Millions in Asbestos Injury Case

Asbestos is one of the most common but fatal workplace diseases employees can contract. As of publication, more than a million U.S. workers remain at risk of asbestos exposure. If you are exposed to asbestos and are subsequently diagnosed with lung, ovarian, laryngeal cancer, mesothelioma, or atelectasis (to name a few), you have rights in a workers’ compensation claim. One former employee of a Montana-based mine and mill recently did just that – and won. 

Continue reading to learn more about this case and why an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is your best defense if you want to hold your company liable for their negligence. 

Former Employees Files Claim

Ralph Hutt, the plaintiff in the case, said that many former employees and their families have passed away as a result of asbestos-related conditions dating all the way back to the 1960s and 1970s. Currently, approximately 90,000 people die each year because of asbestos-related illnesses across the globe. According to his testimony, Hutt stated that he has suffered from increasing difficulty breathing. Per Hutt, the difficulty breathing feels like being “…dunked underwater or strangled.” 

Company Kept Employees in the Dark About Asbestos Risk

The W.R. Grace & Company in Libby, Montana was in operation since the 1800s where, for years, they employed residents to work in mines before they closed their doors in the early 2000s. However, recent evidence shows that the company knew that the employees were at risk of asbestos exposure while they were mining for material for insulation. 

According to the recent evidence, senior executives were aware of the risk these employees faced and made the negligent decision to keep their employees in the dark. They did so by not telling any of the employees about the early signs of lung scarring, nor that such scarring could lead to the development of cancer. Rather, senior management decided to tell the staff after they retired so they could no longer file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits. 

A Big Win 

However, senior management’s plans were exposed in court, where a jury in Great Falls, MT awarded a former employee $36.5 million in damages as a result of W.R. Grace’s and their insurance company, Maryland Casualty Company, for withholding vital information about their risk of asbestos exposure. 

Hundreds of cases against Maryland Casualty Company are currently awaiting trial, however, this isn’t the first time that W.R. Grace found themselves in hot water. Back in the 1990s, they were forced to pay out several million dollars regarding asbestos exposure and poisoning before filing for bankruptcy in 2001. 

Why You Need an Attorney

The case against W.R. Grace and Maryland Casualty Company is a bit unprecedented due to concerns of a claim being filed outside of the statute of limitations – the time frame someone has to bring forth a claim against a negligent party. 

However, allowances were made due to how little information staff had about the exposure to asbestos and the development of subsequent diseases. This is just one way in which hiring the right attorney can benefit your asbestos exposure claim. If you were exposed to asbestos and your job failed to educate you on the risks or failed to take preventative measures, contact our firm for a consultation. 

Contact A Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer To Discuss Your Asbestos Exposure Case In Pennsylvania

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to asbestos exposure or poisoning in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured because of asbestos exposure in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western PA counties. Call (412) 766-1455 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Home visits can be arranged in certain situations. 

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.