Faced with paying a $15.2 million jury award that was given to a former oil and well worker during a trial in 2010, oil giant Conoco Phillips is appealing the award, hoping the decision in the case of the plaintiff who developed from on-the-job asbestos exposure can be reversed.
According to an article in the Washington Examiner, Conoco Phillip’s appeal process will begin on January 30, 2012 when the Mississippi Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of Troy Lofton, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2004 and now must wear oxygen 24 hours each day.
A 2010 jury ruled in favor of Lofton in 2010 in a suit against CP Chem, which is a large division of Conoco Phillips, a Houston-based multinational energy company and the sixth-largest private sector energy company in the world, created in 2002 as a result of a merger between Conoco Inc. and Phillips Petroleum Company. The company currently employs some 30,000 individuals worldwide and showed revenues of nearly $200 billion in 2010.
In his lawsuit, Lofton claimed that the defendant, CP Chem, knowingly shipped an asbestos-containing product that was used by oil refinery workers for more than 20 years. The produce in question was a form of “asbestos mud” that came in large bags handled by Lofton and others on a daily basis. Allegedly, the mud contained 99 percent asbestos. However, the company has denied all claims.
Inhaling asbestos fibers can result in the development of a large assortment of lung-related diseases including lung cancer as well as pleural mesothelioma, a rare cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs and is almost always attributed to asbestos exposure.