$7.5 million verdict in favor of a retired CSX Transportation employee diagnosed with mesothelioma
The plaintiff worked for CSX and its predecessors for 38 years and held several different positions. Three years after his retirement, he was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma which required surgical removal of a lung and several rounds of chemotherapy.
At trial, the plaintiff argued that he was exposed to asbestos dust while working around craftsmen who manipulated asbestos-containing materials and while working around the construction, repair, and demolition of buildings containing asbestos siding. He and his former co-workers testified that asbestos debris was regularly cleaned up using air hoses and brooms, which moved dust into the air, and that CSX never instructed them to take precautions or that asbestos was harmful. Plaintiff’s counsel also introduced a 1996 survey of CSX’s facility where the plaintiff worked for the majority of his career which showed large quantities of asbestos in pipe insulation and asbestos-containing siding, wall, and roof panels. Asbestos was also used in various train components, such as brake pads.
CSX responded by presenting expert testimony from industrial hygienists, pulmonary medicine experts, a pathology expert, and a radiology expert, all of whom testified that the plaintiff’s mesothelioma was not caused by asbestos exposure for which CSX could be held liable.
The jury deliberated for 1 hour and returned a 12-0 vote finding CSX liable and awarding the plaintiff $7.5 million. The verdict was upheld on appeal.