Jury Awards $7.7M Mesothelioma Verdict to School Bus Driver’s Widow

The widow of a man who was exposed to asbestos while working as a school bus driver for nearly four decades has been awarded a $7.7 million mesothelioma verdict. The driver, Lewis Nash, became exposed to the fibrous materials during the time he spent in the bus garage where vehicle maintenance was performed. The asbestos came from the clutches, brakes, and gaskets of the buses. Nash died from mesothelioma at the age of 81 in 2012.

The jury found Navistar, now called International Harvester, liable for Nash developing this serious form of cancer. The company manufactured the school buses.

Because it can take years for symptoms of mesothelioma to surface, there can be a very long latency period for the person affected. This is why Nash wasn’t diagnosed until almost twenty years after he retired.

The $7.7 million verdict includes $6 million for Nash’s physical and emotional pain and suffering and $7.5 million to his wife for his wrongful death, plus another $200,000 for loss of companionship.

If you or someone you loved developed mesothelioma from working on the job, you or your family member is likely entitled to Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits from the employer. There also may be grounds for a Massachusetts mesothelioma lawsuit against other liable parties.

Mesothelioma is a serious type of cancer that can be caused by exposure to asbestos. Symptoms may not appear for decades after exposure to these naturally forming, heat resistant fibers.

Asbestos fibers are used in many industries. They are used to strengthen cement, for insulation, and in fireproofing. According to Nolo.com, asbestos is commonly found in the automotive and shipbuilding industries and in other kinds of workplaces, including those involving construction, paper mills, auto repair, cooling and heating equipment repair, roofing, and janitorial jobs. Asbestos has also been linked to lung cancer, asbestosis, permanent lung damage, breathing problems, gastrointestinal cancer, colorectal cancer, and abnormalities in the chest cavity.

Secondhand exposure to asbestos may also lead to mesothelioma and other health issues. For example, the family members of workers can develop this type of cancer if they were exposed to asbestos fibers that were left on their loved ones’ clothing.

Family of deceased F-M bus driver wins $7.7 million in largest local asbestos verdict ever, Syracuse.com, December 23, 2014

Mesothelioma, Mayo Clinic

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