Spartanburg — A South Carolina state court jury slammed Texas-based materials company Celanese Corp. with a $14 million verdict on Thursday in a lawsuit brought by the family of a maintenance worker who died of cancer after being exposed to asbestos at a polyester fiber plant in the 1970’s.
The family of Dennis Seay, who died of mesothelioma in 2014 at the age of 70, was awarded $12 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages following a 13-day trial. A second defendant in the case, gasket seller John Crane Inc., was cleared of all liability by the unanimous jury, according to a Courtroom View Network webcast of the proceedings.
Seay worked in a Celanese plant between 1971 and 1979 while an employee of Daniel Construction Co., which Celanese hired to perform maintenance and repair work. His lawsuit, filed in 2013, claimed Celanese and John Crane were aware of the dangers that asbestos insulation and asbestos-containing gaskets posed to workers but failed to give Seay adequate warnings of the risks.
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