Accurso wins $10.8M asbestos settlement

The Accurso Law Firm reached a $10.8 million settlement on behalf of the family of a former mechanic who died of mesothelioma after asbestos exposure.asbestos
The man, a former Jackson County resident and mechanic, worked for two years for a company where he was exposed to dust from friction products, such as brake pads, that contained asbestos. The name of the company is confidential as part of the settlement agreement, said Lou Accurso, who represented the man.
The plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2012 and died three months later at age 45.
"I had an opportunity to meet the victim before he died, and he came from an unbelievable family — just wonderful people," Accurso said. "They were some of the greatest clients I've ever had the honor of representing."
Accurso said that to his knowledge, the $10.8 million settlement is the highest for a single victim in Missouri history. Previously, the record was a $10 million settlement that Accurso also helped orchestrate for the family of a Jackson County Courthouse employee who died of mesothelioma.
The biggest challenge in the case was tracking down the man's former co-workers who could testify to the working conditions.
"I knocked on doors from the day after Christmas through Valentine's Day," he said. "I finally found six of them. ... It was critical because then I had someone who could testify to his exposure to asbestos.
They described in great detail where his workspace was located, how often he did brake jobs, how often other mechanics did brake jobs, even what the asbestos dust level was like in the workplace and the total lack of safety procedures or equipment to reduce or eliminate the exposure."
Brianne covers legal affairs, health care, life sciences, animal health and biosciences.

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