Asbestos / Mesothelioma
Baron & Budd was one of the first law firms to successfully handle an asbestos lawsuit and helped to blaze the trail for future asbestos lawyers, even though at the time there was no guarantee of success for our clients or our law firm. We did not know if we were ever going to be paid for our work, but we continued anyway, working hard for our clients because we knew that it was the right thing to do. Because of our hard work, our mesothelioma lawyers helped to open the courtroom doors to future asbestos patients seeking legal help for their illnesses. We are honored to have helped bring this terrible tragedy to light and to help create an avenue to help people who have needlessly suffered because of asbestos exposure.
Major Mesothelioma Verdicts
Note: This is only a sample list of our results. View our case results pdf document for a more comprehensive list of Baron & Budd’s mesothelioma verdicts and settlements. You may also call us at 855-280-7664 or contact us online
At Baron & Budd we treat every case with the individualized attention of a high profile case, which is why several of the most high-profile families in the United States chose Baron & Budd to represent their loved ones who developed mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure.
Baron & Budd represented football legend and television star Merlin Olsen, who passed from mesothelioma in 2010. Olsen was exposed to asbestos through other tradesmen who were using sheetrock joint compounds around him and from working on Caterpillar bulldozers. The lawsuit ended in a confidential out-of-court settlement.
Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. was the youngest Chief of Naval Operations in U.S. history when he took the helm of the U.S. Navy in 1970 and is remembered as a trailblazer and a champion for the many brave men and women who serve our country. Adm. Zumwalt developed mesothelioma from asbestos exposure while serving aboard Navy ships. Baron & Budd is honored to have represented Adm. Zumwalt’s family in their lawsuit against the companies whose asbestos-containing products are responsible for his death.
Best known for his role as Principal Richard Vernon in the 1985 film The Breakfast Club, actor Paul Gleason is another celebrity who has been affected by mesothelioma. Gleason passed in 2006 from the asbestos-related cancer which was caused by working around asbestos-containing products at a construction job he held as a youth. The firm represented Gleason’s family in a mesothelioma lawsuit, which resulted in a confidential out-of-court settlement.
Supreme Court Decisions
No other law firm has gone to bat for the rights of mesothelioma victims to the extent that Baron & Budd has, fighting threats to the right of individuals to file lawsuits – all the way to the Supreme Court.
When asbestos companies realized that they could not escape responsibility for the asbestos tragedy by pretending not to have known the harm they were causing, a group of companies tried instead to limit the amount they would have to pay to their victims by creating a class action “settlement” that would control the amount of money paid to all present and future asbestos victims.
Baron & Budd teamed up with a group of experts and committed advocates to fight these unfair class action settlements, ultimately convincing the United States Supreme Court that it was unconstitutional to limit the rights of individual asbestos victims to seek individual compensation for the harm they suffered. In two cases, Amchem Products v. Windsor and Ortiz v. Fibreboard Corp., the Supreme Court held the settlements were illegal and improper because they violated due process under the United States Constitution.
By taking this fight to the Supreme Court and winning, Baron & Budd protected the rights of present and future individuals who are harmed by asbestos.
To protect themselves from lawsuits, many asbestos manufacturers filed for bankruptcy. In some instances, trust funds were set up to compensate people who were harmed by the company’s asbestos products. But the establishment of these trusts requires enormous negotiation skills and experience.
Baron & Budd has been instrumental in negotiating bankruptcy trusts. Founder Russell Budd led the negotiation of the 2002 Halliburton $4 billion national asbestos trust fund. This trust fund can now be accessed by individuals all over the United States for mesothelioma claims, even if they are not clients of Baron & Budd, and has provided compensation for countless injured people.
The agreement reached between Halliburton and Baron & Budd created the largest asbestos trust fund of its kind anywhere in the world.
The Right to Pursue a Second Asbestos Lawsuit
The law in some states allows people with a prior asbestos settlement to pursue a second lawsuit to recover additional funds for health issues that might develop later, such as a case of asbestosis later developing into mesothelioma. This wasn’t, however, the case in Texas prior to 2000. Texas law did not allow people to file a second asbestos-related lawsuit. That’s when Baron & Budd stepped in.
In Pustejovsky v. Rapid-American Corp., the firm represented an ironworker who filed a lawsuit for asbestosis decades previously, but was later diagnosed with mesothelioma. Even though Texas law prevented him from recovering additional compensation, Baron and Budd refused to give up, believing that he should have the ability to receive adequate compensation for all his asbestos-related issues.
The case went all the way to the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled that a person who previously achieved compensation for an asbestos-related disease should have the opportunity to pursue additional compensation if they are later diagnosed with mesothelioma.
In addition to convincing the Texas Supreme Court to allow claimants to pursue second asbestos cancer lawsuits, Baron & Budd also led the battle to convince the Iowa Supreme Court and an appellate court in Florida to recognize the right of asbestos victims to pursue two separate asbestos-related lawsuits if their situation permits. Today, many states around the country allow asbestos patients to file a second lawsuit if they develop a separate, asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma.
Protecting Railroad Workers
In 2003, Baron & Budd assisted the non-profit organization Public Justice in Norfolk & Western Railway Co. v. Ayers, a U.S. Supreme Court case regarding compensation for railroad workers who have been diagnosed with asbestos diseases. With Baron & Budd’s support, Public Justice convinced the court that when railroad workers develops asbestosis, they should have the opportunity to receive additional compensation in anticipation of developing future asbestos cancers, such as mesothelioma. Baron & Budd received no fees or other compensation for their work in this case.
This opinion has influenced numerous state courts throughout the country, and has ultimately helped protect the rights of people who have been harmed by asbestos exposure while working for the railroad.
Changing a Louisiana Precedent
In Rando v. Anco Insulations, Baron & Budd took their fight for a Louisiana mesothelioma patient all the way to the Louisiana Supreme Court. According to Louisiana workers’ compensation law, mesothelioma patients whose occupational asbestos exposure prior to 1975 caused their cancer were unable to recover funds through the legal system. The firm convinced the court that mesothelioma patients should not be prevented from receiving compensation because of the workers’ compensation law, since mesothelioma can take decades to manifest.
Disclaimer: Results obtained depend on the facts of each case. Award amounts are not actual cash amounts received by plaintiffs. Deductions are made for liens, attorney fees and expenses.