The media often focuses on the huge settlement amounts in mesothelioma cases. The stories behind these settlements are often lost. Each of our clients had their lives changed by the negligence (or worse) of an asbestos company. Here are the stories that inspire us to keep working until there is retribution for each and every victim.
The story of Paul and Shawn Ondell is the story of golden years lost. Paul was a decorated Vietnam Vet. He worked as a pipefitter at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard when he returned home. Paul was good with his money and had managed to retire in his mid-fifties. He and his wife looked forward to the years of leisure that he had earned for them.
This wasn’t to be. Only a month after he retired, Paul was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma caused by his years of working with a variety of asbestos-containing products, including gaskets, packing, pumps, valves, pipe covering, pipe mud, and cloth. Paul died at age 57; never getting to enjoy the retirement he had worked so hard for.
Shawn Ondell, Paul’s wife, had also worked at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and wasn’t only interested in justice for Paul—she wanted to make things better for other victims of mesothelioma. Even though we were able to recover significant settlements from the companies responsible for Paul’s cancer, Shawn was not content. She petitioned the Washington State Legislature to enact legislation that would protect mesothelioma victims and has been a vocal advocate ever since.
Reuben and Danny Arnold
Reuben and Danny Arnold were the closest that any father and son had ever been. They spent their weekends hunting in the forests of Washington. Reuben worked at Heat & Frost Insulators Union, Local No. 7 as an insulator. His son joined the team in the 1970s and the two worked side by side for years.
By the time Danny had started working there were several asbestos precautions in place. He wore a respirator every day and followed all of the safety measures to keep him safe. Unfortunately, he had been so close with his father that he had already been exposed to asbestos on a daily basis from the time he was born. In 2008, Reuben was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma and his son, Danny was diagnosed only four months later.
Reuben died within a year of his diagnosis and Danny followed the next at the young age of 49. The tragedy in this is not just that a father and son died, but that a wife and mother, Marjorie, cared for and lost both her husband and son in the span of a year.
Our firm was able to recover the largest settlement in Washington State history for Mrs. Arnold and give her the financial security that her husband and son would have wanted for her.
When Dick Temanson had to make multiple visits to his doctor to get fluid drained from his lungs, he knew something was wrong. His doctor told him he looked too healthy to be sick and advised him to go to Oregon Health & Science University and see a specialist. Within 5 minutes of testing there he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Dick said that it was “a reality that slapped everyone in the face.” He saw it as a death sentence and that he had only a short time to live. When he first met with Glenn Draper he hadn’t even thought about a lawsuit. It was unreal to him. But Glenn showed him that things could be better. As Dick says, “It was a chance for me to send my grandchildren to school, for me to have a better quality of life, and to leave something for my wife if I should go first.”
Dick’s advice to anyone who is diagnosed with mesothelioma is to find a really good doctor so you can be around for your family. We second that. Life can be better if you have the money you need to get proper treatment for your condition. Dick is living proof.
With over $500 million in mesothelioma damages recovered on behalf of our clients, we are one of the most successful legal teams in the Northwest. Call us today for a free case evaluation 888-647-6007 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.