Dallas Jury Finds Hercules, Inc. Liable For Exposing Worker To Asbestos Pipe

DALLAS (January 3, 2012) – A Dallas County jury recently awarded an $8.4 million verdict to a mesothelioma cancer patient’s widow after finding Ashland, Inc. subsidiary, Hercules, Inc., liable for the patient’s mesothelioma, a deadly cancer of the lining of the lung caused by asbestos exposure. The verdict is believed to be the first asbestos cancer verdict reached against Hercules for exposure at the Dow Chemical refinery and could set a precedent for similar results. The mesothelioma lawsuit was brought on behalf of the late John Gensler, and his widow Martha Gensler. Baron and Budd represented the Genslers at trial with the Hon. Judge Martin Hoffman presiding.

Hercules is no stranger to fines and other liabilities due to its manufacture of carcinogenic products. The company has been found responsible for exposing military veterans to carcinogens including Agent Orange, which Hercules manufactured. Hercules has also paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fines related to Superfund clean up of harmful dioxins and other herbicides.

Even after the government begin requiring warning labels for asbestos-containing products in 1971, Hercules actively chose not to place the warning labels on its products. Baron & Budd proved during the three-week trial that Hercules knew it was exposing Gensler and other workers to dangerous asbestos pipe products during the late 1960s and early 1970s and did nothing to warn workers. 

“Hercules has a history of corporate misconduct and environmental contamination,” said a Baron & Budd shareholder. “The company insisted on using the most carcinogenic type of asbestos available. While other asbestos pipes contained approximately 3 to 5 percent asbestos, Hercules’ asbestos pipes contained 50 percent asbestos, an amount found to be extremely dangerous to workers and the environment.”

Baron and Budd has been defending the rights of asbestos cancer sufferers and their families for more than 30 years and was one of the first law firms to successfully litigate a mesothelioma lawsuit. The firm has achieved numerous landmark mesothelioma verdicts throughout its history, including a $55 million verdict in 2001, one of the largest in the state of Texas, and a $20 million mesothelioma verdict in California.

About Baron & Budd, P.C.

The national mesothelioma law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C. has a more than 30-year history of "Protecting What’s Right" for asbestos sufferers and their families. As one of the first law firms to successfully litigate an asbestos lawsuit, Baron & Budd continues to actively represent veterans, industry workers and others who are suffering as a result of exposure to asbestos. Baron & Budd achieved the largest mesothelioma verdict ever in the state of Texas, a $55 million verdict for an asbestos sufferer and his family in El Paso, Texas. Contact Baron and Budd at 1.866.855.1229 for additional information on mesothelioma treatments, mesothelioma cancer doctors and treatment centers and mesothelioma attorneys.