Shipyard Worker Awarded $25 Million From Exxon Mobil in Asbestos Case

Shipyard Worker Awarded $25 Million From Exxon Mobil in Asbestos CaseA former Virginia shipyard worker suffering from mesothelioma has been awarded $25 million in his toxic substances lawsuit against Exxon Mobil. His attorney explained that because the jury assigned punitive damages in excess of what 72-year-old Rubert "Bert" Minton had asked for, however, the final award will be reduced to $17.5 million, the Hampton Roads Daily Press reports. 

Minton had claimed that while working at a shipyard from 1966 to 1977, he repaired 17 Exxon commercial oil tankers. He was later diagnosed with the deadly cancer mesothelioma, and has, at most, several years to live, his toxic substances attorney explained. According to the news source, asbestos was used heavily on ships in previous decades due to its heat-resistant properties. Minton claimed that it was during his time on the Exxon ships that he inhaled fibers of the substance.

Exxon has said it may appeal the verdict, contending that the shipyard and not the oil company should be held responsible for the allegedly unsafe working conditions Minton was exposed to.

According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 2,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year, with up to 80 percent of them being linked to workplace asbestos exposure.