Thursday, 22 December, 2011
A ferry worker, who contracted mesothelioma cancer as a result of being exposed to asbestos, has been awarded 1.45 million dollars in occupational illness compensation by a jury in Seattle.
Roger Hammett (84) of Maury Island, Washington, was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer in August 2010 after working all his life on naval vessels, commercial ships and ferries through the Puget Sound. Prior to his diagnosis he was a fit active man but has now been given less than a year to live by doctors.
Although many of the vessels on which he worked may have contributed to his condition, a compensation for mesothelioma claim was made against Sea-Land Service Inc. – a ferry company for whom Roger worked during the sixties aboard the SS Seattle travelling between Seattle and Kodiak Island in Alaska.
It was alleged in the action for occupational illness compensation that Roger´s exposure to asbestos was most intense aboard the SS Seattle due to the company being in violation of government health regulations regarding the material. It was argued in court that even if Sea-Land Service Inc. were unaware of the government regulations at the time, they should have been due to the volume of information available.
The jury at Kings County District Court decided that because of Roger´s many different employments during a 60 year career at sea, Sea-Land Service Inc. were only to be held 70 per cent liable for his condition and awarded him 1.45 million dollars.
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