The lawyers at McDermott-Hickey have obtained Worker’s Compensation Benefits for hundreds of Ohio workers and their families. Below are a few of their stories.
Steel Worker Widow
Arthur worked for decades in an Ohio steel mill where he was constantly exposed to asbestos dust. After retiring, Arthur was diagnosed with asbestosis which is a non-malignant scarring process in the lungs. A couple years later Arthur was diagnosed with lung cancer which eventually took his life. Arthur’s widow Lydia came to McDermott-Hickey for help. In addition to filing claims with various Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts we filed a claim on behalf of Lydia seeking Workers Compensation Death Benefits. Arthur’s asbestos related lung cancer is an “occupational disease” which is compensable under Ohio’s Worker’s Compensation laws. The steel company fought Lydia’s claim and said his lung cancer was caused by smoking. The law states that if asbestos exposure is a substantial contributing cause of the lung cancer then it is covered under Workers Compensation. While few Worker’s Compensation claims end up in a trial court, the steel company took their fight to the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. Kevin McDermott and Mary Brigid Sweeney presented Lydia’s case to the jury.
RESULT: After a week-long trial the jury ruled in Lydia’s favor confirming that Arthur’s asbestos exposure contributed to his lung cancer. Lydia would continue to receive her bi-monthly benefit checks for the rest of her life.
Plant Worker Widow
Joe worked for several years in the 1960’s in a plant where he dumped bags of raw asbestos fiber into a large mixer on a daily basis. He was given no warnings about asbestos hazards nor was he given a mask or respirator. Forty years later Joe was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of this exposure. He was retired and living in another state at the time of his diagnosis. McDermott-Hickey quickly filed suit on behalf of Joe and his wife Ellen and did a videotaped deposition to preserve Joe’s testimony regarding his exposure. Joe faded quickly and died of mesothelioma. McDermott Hickey filed for Worker’s Compensation Death benefits on behalf of Ellen.
RESULT: The exposure evidence developed by McDermott-Hickey was so strong that the employer did not even challenge Ellen’s claim. She was awarded bi-monthly death benefits for the rest of her life which has helped her live in dignity which she certainly deserves after losing her husband to a horrible occupational disease.
Fabrication Shop Widow
Betty’s husband Ron owned and operated his own small fabrication shop where he cut and sanded asbestos cement board on a daily basis. Since there were no warnings on the products, Ron had no idea he was being exposed to toxic asbestos fibers which would eventually lead to his diagnosis of mesothelioma. After Ron’s death, Betty turned to McDermott-Hickey for help. We were able to locate documents which showed Ron’s purchase of the asbestos containing board. We were also able to locate a former employee of Ron’s who described their work with and exposure to the asbestos board.
RESULT: With this information we were able to obtain Worker’s Compensation death benefits for Betty. We also obtained a large confidential settlement with the company that supplied the asbestos board to Ron’s business.
*Above are descriptions of cases previously handled by Chip Hickey and Kevin McDermott. Most cases, of any type, are resolved prior to trial and the terms of the settlement are normally confidential. The Case Summaries listed below are intended to give prospective clients some information about our experience in handling different types of cases. This is by no means a list of every case that we’ve handled over our many years of practice. In many of the following summaries we have had to change the name of the client and are prohibited from disclosing settlement amounts due to Confidentiality Agreements. This is not meant to be a guarantee of any recovery. Each case stands on it’s own particular set of facts.