A South Carolina jury has awarded a total of $32 million at the conclusion of an asbestos trial involving secondhand exposure claims, with jurors assigning liability to both premises defendant Kraft Heinz and contractor defendant Metal Masters Inc.
The South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Fifth Judicial District for Richland County, jury reached the verdict earlier today after a four-day trial before Hon. Jean Toal. Opening arguments were delivered on Sept. 20, while closings took place on Sept. 23.
The $22 million award included $11 million for Kathy Weist’s survival damages, $10 million for wrongful death damages, and $1 million for Bob Weist’s loss of consortium damages.
In a separate punitive damage verdict sheet, jurors determined that Kraft Heinz, and not Metal Masters, should pay punitive damages in the amount of $10 million.
Lead Trial Counsel for the plaintiffs was Scott L. Frost of Frost Law Firm, P.C., in San Pedro, Calif.; along with Co-Counsel Bonnie Steinwolf and Kush Shukla of Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP in New York.
Metal Masters Inc. was represented by Alex E. Cosculluela of Adam & Reese LLP in Houston; and Kirby D. Shealy III of Adam & Reese’s Columbia, S.C., location.
Kraft Heinz was represented by Thomas H. Pope III of Pope Parker Jenkins, Attorneys, P.A., in Newberry, S.C.
Weist v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 2020-CP-40-02597 (S.C. Ct. Comm. Pls., 5th Jud. Cir., Richland Cty.).