The Top 5 Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlements of All Time

Mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure, can result in legal action against the companies responsible for such exposure. In this post, we will delve into the top 5 mesothelioma lawsuit settlements of all time, highlighting the severity of this disease and the considerable compensation that victims and their families have received.

Overview of Mesothelioma Lawsuits:

Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Mesothelioma lawsuits are filed by those who have been diagnosed with the disease as a result of asbestos exposure. Asbestos was commonly used in various industries until the late 1970s, and many individuals are being diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos decades ago.

Mesothelioma lawsuits seek compensation for damages related to the disease, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Many of these lawsuits are directed towards companies that manufactured or distributed asbestos-containing products, as these companies had knowledge about the harmful effects of asbestos but failed to warn their workers or the public.

Although mesothelioma lawsuits can take a long time to resolve and may require significant expenses, many patients and their families have no other option but to pursue legal action. The compensation obtained through legal action may be the only means to cover the high costs of medical expenses and other related costs associated with the disease.

Top 5 Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlements:

Asbestos exposure has devastating consequences, and mesothelioma lawsuits can be complex and lengthy. Nonetheless, some cases have resulted in massive settlements for the affected individuals or their loved ones. Below, we’ll examine the five largest mesothelioma lawsuit settlements in history:

$250 Million:

In the annals of asbestos litigation, the case of Leslie Aubin stands out as a landmark. In 2005, Aubin, a former paper mill worker, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Aubin then filed a lawsuit against several companies, accusing them of knowingly exposing him to asbestos and failing to provide proper safety measures.

Among the companies named in the suit were paper manufacturer Georgia-Pacific Corporation and several asbestos manufacturers, including GAF Corporation and Owens Corning. The lawsuit alleged that these companies conspired to conceal the risks of asbestos exposure from workers like Aubin.

The trial took place in Louisiana and resulted in one of the largest verdicts ever awarded in an asbestos lawsuit: $250 million, including $50 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages. Although the verdict was later reduced on appeal, the case serves as a warning to companies about the dangers of exposing workers to asbestos without proper safety precautions.

$190 Million:

In a California lawsuit, a brake manufacturing company was ordered to pay $190 million to five workers and their families after the workers were exposed to asbestos in the workplace and developed mesothelioma. The company was accused of failing to provide adequate protection to its employees and failing to warn them about the dangers of asbestos exposure, despite having knowledge of its harmful effects for decades. The jury found the company guilty of negligence, fraud, and conspiracy, resulting in one of the largest awards in an asbestos-related case. The victims and their families received compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, highlighting the devastating impact of asbestos exposure and the importance of holding companies accountable for their actions.

$136 Million:

In a striking verdict, a New York jury in 2016 awarded $136 million to Ronald Dummitt, a former electrician who was diagnosed with mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos on a construction site. Mr. Dummitt worked for Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation and was exposed to asbestos-containing materials, including pipes, boilers, and turbines. The jury found Georgia-Pacific and Crane Co. among the asbestos manufacturers responsible for Mr. Dummitt’s mesothelioma diagnosis and awarded him and his wife $32 million in compensatory damages and a whopping $104 million in punitive damages. This verdict stands out for the hefty amount of punitive damages awarded, meant to penalize the defendants for their wrongdoing and discourage others from similar conduct.

$130 Million:

In 2019, a Virginia jury delivered a stunning $130 million verdict in favor of John Crane Inc., a former shipyard worker who developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while working on Navy ships. John worked as a mechanic at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, where he was exposed to asbestos in gaskets and packing manufactured by John Crane Inc. and other companies. Despite having knowledge about the dangers of asbestos, John Crane Inc. failed to warn workers, including John, about the risks of exposure. The jury found John Crane Inc. 60% responsible for John’s injuries, while other companies that supplied asbestos products were found 40% responsible. The award included $4.1 million for John’s medical expenses, $2.5 million for his pain and suffering, and a staggering $123.5 million in punitive damages. This case is one of the largest mesothelioma verdicts in Virginia’s legal history and sends a clear message that companies cannot prioritize profits over the safety and well-being of their employees.

$117 Million:

Mark Buttitta, a former plumber and electrician, was diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while working for various construction companies. He filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and several other companies, claiming they knew about the dangers of asbestos but failed to warn workers.

After a grueling four-month trial, a New Jersey jury awarded Buttitta a whopping $117 million, comprising $37 million in compensatory damages and $80 million in punitive damages. The jury found Johnson & Johnson liable for 70% of Buttitta’s illness, and another defendant, Cyprus Amax Minerals Company, responsible for 20% of the damages.

According to the jury, Johnson & Johnson knowingly supplied asbestos-contaminated talc to other firms for use in products like joint compound, exposing Buttitta to the toxic material. The company has denied wrongdoing and intends to appeal the verdict. This award is currently one of the most substantial mesothelioma lawsuit settlements ever.

Factors that Determine Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlements:

When it comes to determining the amount of a mesothelioma lawsuit settlement, several factors come into play. One of the most significant factors is the extent of the victim’s damages and how they affect their quality of life. In addition, the duration and intensity of asbestos exposure are also taken into consideration.

Negligence is another crucial factor. If the defendant is found to have acted recklessly or negligently in exposing the victim to asbestos, this can increase the settlement amount. The jurisdiction where the lawsuit is filed is also critical, as different states have different laws and court systems that may be more or less favorable to the plaintiff.

The financial resources of the defendant(s) are also taken into account, as it affects their ability to pay damages. The strength and persuasiveness of the plaintiff’s evidence can also impact the settlement, as it affects the likelihood of success at trial.

Finally, the skill and experience of the plaintiff’s attorney are important, as they will be responsible for building a strong case and negotiating a favorable settlement on behalf of their client. Ultimately, all of these factors will be considered when determining the amount of a mesothelioma lawsuit settlement.

How Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlements are Paid?

Mesothelioma lawsuit settlements typically come in two forms: structured settlements and lump-sum payments. Structured settlements provide a set amount of money on a regular schedule over a period of time, while lump-sum payments are one-time payments paid in full at the time of settlement. Plaintiffs often choose structured settlements if they want a steady stream of income, while lump-sum payments are preferred by those who want immediate access to the full amount of the settlement.

The payment method for a mesothelioma lawsuit settlement is usually negotiated between the plaintiff and defendant during the settlement process. In some cases, the court may also be involved in determining the payment method. Factors that may influence the decision on the payment method include the amount of the settlement, the plaintiff’s financial situation, and the terms of the settlement agreement.

It’s worth noting that mesothelioma lawsuit settlements are typically taxable, although the tax implications may vary depending on the payment method chosen and the terms of the settlement agreement. Plaintiffs should consult with a tax professional to fully understand the tax implications of their settlement.


To summarize, mesothelioma lawsuits can be intricate and yield substantial compensation for victims and their loved ones. The five largest mesothelioma lawsuit settlements detailed in this article showcase the significant monetary awards that can result from these cases. Factors that determine mesothelioma lawsuit settlements vary, but typically include the severity of the illness, the duration and intensity of asbestos exposure, and the financial resources of the defendant. To pay settlements, defendants may use a combination of insurance, assets, and compensation funds. Ultimately, these settlements can offer crucial financial support for victims and their families during the challenging journey of a mesothelioma diagnosis.

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