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November 23, 2010 – Mesothelioma lawyers from Levy Konigsberg LLP obtain $1.74 Million verdict for the family of a Louisiana mother and son, who died of mesothelioma, against an automotive gasket manufacturer and a clutch manufacturer in an asbestos lawsuit tried in the Delaware Superior Court.

LK’s Mesothelioma Lawyers Obtain $1.74 Million Verdict for Louisiana Mother and Son


WILMINGTON, Delaware, November 23, 2010 – After a two week trial in the Delaware Superior Court against two asbestos companies, Dana Companies LLC and Zoom Performance Products, the jury returned a verdict finding both companies responsible for the deceased mother and son’s injuries and awarding their surviving loved ones a total of $1.74 Million. The verdict was obtained on behalf of the estates and surviving family members of Betty Henderson, a seventy-four-year-old mother, and her fifty-five-year-old son, Bruce Henderson, both of whom died of mesothelioma, just over a year a part.

The Hendersons ran garages back in the 1960s and 1970s: the father worked as a mechanic, Betty worked in the parts department, and Bruce and his brother and sisters helped them out. The kids literally grew up in the garage.

Betty Henderson, a great-grandmother, who only learned to drive and began working outside the family business when her husband passed away in the early 1980s, still worked as a lunch lady at an elementary school shortly before she developed mesothelioma. She died at home surrounded by her loving sons and daughters.

Bruce Henderson was diagnosed with his mesothelioma just a few months after watching his mother suffer and die from the disease. Despite his heroic fight and the support of his devoted siblings, Bruce succumbed to the cancer just about 15 months after his mother.

The jury found that during the time Betty was raising her kids, including Bruce, in the garage, defendants Dana and Zoom both sold products that contained asbestos and that using these products exposed Betty and Bruce Henderson to asbestos and caused them to develop mesothelioma. The jury found that Dana and Zoom’s products were defective and they were negligent because they failed to warn their customers, including the Hendersons, about the hazards of asbestos from using their products. For example, evidence, presented by the family’s mesothelioma lawyers, showed that Dana, maker of Victor gaskets, which the engine rebuilding Henderson often used, got notice from its suppliers that breathing asbestos could cause cancer, yet provided no warning to its customers, such as the Hendersons. Similarly, Zoom received warnings about asbestos from at least one of the companies that supplied it with asbestos containing clutch linings, which it riveted into its clutches. Zoom, however, did not pass the warning onto customers, such as the Henderson family, who loved to use Zoom clutches in street cars they fixed up for drag racing.

The Henderson family was represented by mesothelioma attorneys Jerome H. Block and Amber R. Long of Levy Konigsberg LLP, a New York City-based law firm that has specialized in representing victims of mesothelioma for more than twenty-five years. The case was tried by Jerome H. Block, who acted as lead counsel, and assisted by Amber R. Long, as well as Joseph J. Rhoades of the Law Offices of Joseph J. Rhoades.

Dana was represented at trial by Tom Radcliffe of DeHay & Elliston LLP and Beth Valocchi of Swartz Campbell LLC. Zoom was represented by Timothy J. Houseal and William E. Gamgort, both of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP.

Many mechanics, and their family members, who worked with brakes, clutches, gaskets during the 1940s up through, at least, the 1980s, were exposed to asbestos. As a result, some of these workers have developed mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that occurs most commonly in the pleura or peritoneum that line the lungs and abdominal cavities, respectively. The disease occurs after a “latency period” of many decades.

For over a quarter of a century, mesothelioma lawyers at Levy Konigsberg LLP have been among the pioneers of asbestos litigation in America. The firm’s attorneys have been recognized as nationwide leaders in representing the rights of mesothelioma victims and their families. Their clients have received some of the largest mesothelioma compensation verdicts in the country.

For more information about this or other mesothelioma lawsuits, please contact Levy Konigsberg LLP at (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry.

ATTENTION: Mesothelioma has no known cure and often causes severe pain, suffering, and other types of damage, such as loss of consortium, and loss of income. Additionally, due to the exceedingly high cost of mesothelioma treatments, many families exhaust savings and accumulate financial debt in order to pay for the medical expenses of their family member.

Under the law of most states, pain and suffering from mesothelioma may be compensated through the award of money damages, usually obtained with the help of experienced mesothelioma attorneys. In some states other types of damages may also be recovered.

Asbestos litigation affords mesothelioma victims the opportunity to receive financial compensation and hold accountable the companies that caused their asbestos exposure.

IMPORTANT: If you or your family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should get in touch with a mesothelioma lawyer as early as possible to determine if you have a mesothelioma case and to:

  • Preserve your rights to bring a legal action against the responsible parties within the limited time frame allowed by law, known as statute of limitations;
  • Obtain maximum compensation in your case by being able to:
    • Preserve evidence and establish facts of the asbestos exposure while the claimant is still alive and able to provide information;
    • File and resolve a lawsuit against the responsible parties before they file for bankruptcy or, if they already have, to obtain compensation before their bankruptcy trust funds run out of money;
  • Expedite your case, as courts tend to give higher priority to mesothelioma lawsuits where the claimant is still alive.

Louisiana Mesothelioma FAQ

Where Were Workers in Louisiana Exposed to Asbestos?

Louisiana employees in many industries were exposed to asbestos, including automotive parts manufacturing, at shipyards, in manufacturing facilities of all types, and in the Navy, among other industries and occupations. The exposure to asbestos, which generally occurred regularly. The tiny asbestos fibers in the air were inhaled unknowingly by workers, who later in life, were diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related lung disease.

Can Members of the Military Diagnosed with Mesothelioma Seek Benefits More Than What is Provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs?

If you served in the military and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you have a right to seek benefits by filing a “VA claim.” The benefits paid are helpful but are often much less than the injured person needs. As a former or current serving member of the military, you are not barred from seeking other compensation by filing a claim with asbestos bankruptcy trusts or bringing a lawsuit against a company that is still operating who manufactured or sold asbestos-containing materials or products.

Can a Wrongful Death Claim Be Filed for Mesothelioma?

If a family member has died after developing mesothelioma, certain family members have the right to file a wrongful death claim. These cases are filed to compensate the close family for the many losses, both financial and personal, associated with the death of a loved one. These losses include the sorrow and emotional anguish associated with the death of a treasured loved one, the loss of income the individual provided the family, the loss of services, protection, care and assistance the individual provided loved ones, and all medical and treatment costs prior to death, among other losses. The value of a wrongful death claim is calculated by the attorney filing the lawsuit.

Does Someone with Mesothelioma in Louisiana Need an Attorney?

Filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is not a simple matter that can be managed by a layperson. It is imperative that the case is managed by a mesothelioma law firm with a record of positive outcomes, and a breadth of experience in litigating these cases.

How Long Do I Have to File a Mesothelioma Claim in Louisiana?

Louisiana allows for a very short time window in which you have the right to file a lawsuit in a case of mesothelioma. It is one of the few states that only allows one year from the date of diagnosis in which the individual has the right to file a civil lawsuit. Once that date has passed, the person loses the right to seek compensation for damages. It is imperative that all legal work is filed within the time limits imposed by state law, and a mesothelioma attorney will ensure your right to seek compensation is protected.

Do the Law Firms Advertising for Mesothelioma Cases Actually Litigate These Cases?

Some firms who heavily advertise for clients who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma do not actually litigate the case but refer them to other law firms who do. At Levy Konigsberg, our team of litigators has a long history of representing mesothelioma victims, and as trial lawyers, meticulously prepare every case, searching out every possible source of compensation.

Where Will the Compensation Come From?

A mesothelioma claim may involve several sources of compensation. These include seeking compensation from mesothelioma bankruptcy trusts, or from companies that allowed workers to be exposed to this toxic substance that are still in operation, of which there are many. More than 90 percent of these cases are settled out of court.

How Long Will it Take to Receive Money in a Mesothelioma Case?

Some cases are resolved within a few months, while others may take longer. For cases in which the claimant is still living, the case may be expedited through the system. When the claimant has passed away from the disease, our firm has both the professional resources and experience to move the cases forward as quickly as possible on behalf of the client.

Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced mesothelioma lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline at (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.

NOTE: While our offices are located in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Georgia, many of our mesothelioma lawyers are licensed to practice law in a number of U.S. states and have the capability and extensive experience of representing mesothelioma clients throughout the United States. You are encouraged to contact us with any questions.


Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline or by submitting an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.

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