Published on October 10, 2022
In February of 2020, an Oregon jury ordered Kaiser Gypsum Company Inc. to pay more than $6.2 million in damages to a mesothelioma victim and his wife, finding their conduct in the 1960s reckless and responsible for the man’s malignant mesothelioma. The award, reduced to $5,233,618, was appealed by the company on several grounds. This week the Oregon Court of Appeals denied their petition.
Man’s Mesothelioma Blamed on Asbestos in Joint Compound
In the original trial, Donald Miller and Linda Miller named several companies whose asbestos-contaminated products he’d been exposed to throughout his lifetime. Every claim but the one against Kaiser Gypsum was either dismissed or settled out of court. His claim against the company pointed to their joint compound product, which he worked with and around between 1966 and 1969 when he was a mechanical insulator.
The jury hearing the mesothelioma lawsuit found in favor of Mr. Miller on claims of negligence, strict liability, and loss of consortium, and the company appealed. Their appeal cited three areas where they perceived errors had been made, including specifics of the instructions given to the jury about the term “recklessness.” They argued that the evidence was legally insufficient to prove that Kaiser Gypsum had acted recklessly and that the judge should have ordered a directed verdict favoring them.
Court of Appeals Rules Against Mesothelioma Defendant
The Court of Appeals of Oregon reviewed Kaiser Gypsum’s argument against the mesothelioma verdict, but found it wanting. The noted that the trial court’s instruction to the jury distinguished between recklessness and intentional misconduct and that this was a correct recitation of the legal standard. They also denied the company’s appeal that centered on whether the action causing Mr. Miller’s illness arose in the 1960s or in 2018, noting that it would have no effect on the company’s liability. The verdict will stand and the victim will receive the compensation that he is owed.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the Patient Advocates can help you identify the source of your asbestos exposure. For more information, contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.
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Written by Terri Oppenheimer
Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.
Learn more about and contact Terri