NEW ORLEANS, June 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A Louisiana jury this week delivered what is believed to be the largest verdict for a living victim of mesothelioma in recent memory. Frederick Schulte, a shipbuilder who was repeatedly exposed to dangerous asbestos throughout his career, was awarded a $12 million dollar verdict in his case filed in Orleans Parish.
Schulte was diagnosed with epithelioid mesothelioma in October of 2011, after experiencing fatigue, shortness of breath and chest pain. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that attacks the lining of internal organs and is more commonly found in the lining of the lungs. Treatment can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy, and costs can be substantial. Usually, care for the terminally ill patients shifts from treatment to pain management within a year.
"Time is crucial for mesothelioma patients and the legal system can sometimes be difficult and slow," attorney Rick Nemeroff, founder of Nemeroff Law Firm, said. "But in this case, we were able to go from diagnosis to verdict in less than ten months. This is what Mr. Schulte and other victims of mesothelioma need and deserve."
A former member of the Air Force, Schulte spent his earlier years as a shipfitter and ironfitter for McDermott Incorporated Shipyard, servicing and replacing gaskets, piping and valves on World War II-era quarter boats where he worked with asbestos pipe insulation manufactured by trial defendant Mundet Cork Company (whose liability is currently held by Fortune 500 company Crown Cork & Seal Co., Inc.).
Schulte later worked and was exposed to asbestos as a radar technician at Avondale Shipyards, where he fitted Coast Guard cutters with fire-retardant partitions, furniture, walls and bulkheads.
Throughout his time at McDermott and Avondale, Schulte experienced significant exposure to airborne asbestos. His duties included cutting, scraping and grinding off asbestos pipe coverings and gaskets and running cable through and around asbestos insulation. At no time in his career was Schulte warned of the health hazard or even the presence of asbestos.
Mesothelioma may take as long as 60 years to develop after exposure and life expectancy after diagnosis is short. On average, only 40 percent of mesothelioma patients survive for longer than one year.
"It's a real tragedy that, through no fault or negligence on his own part, Mr. Schulte and his family must suffer," Nemeroff said. "The companies knew about the risks. There is documentation. Yet, they made no effort to protect individuals exposed to asbestos, or even alert them to the dangers so that they could protect themselves."
About Nemeroff Law Firm
With offices in Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Pittsburgh, the Nemeroff Law Firm is a nationally recognized trial firm dedicated to helping individuals and families who suffer from asbestos related mesothelioma, harmful pharmaceuticals, and catastrophic personal injuries or death as a result of the wrongful or negligent conduct of others. Led by attorney Rick Nemeroff, the firm serves clients throughout the United States and Mexico, combining compassion and caring with aggressive litigation skills to deliver life-changing results. For more information, contact the Nemeroff Law Firm at 866-435-1831 or go to www.nemerofflaw.com.
SOURCE Nemeroff Law Firm