Former Kodak employee awarded $8M after being exposed to asbestos, diagnosed with terminal cancer

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A former Kodak employee is getting $8 million after being exposed to asbestos on the job. Lawyers for Wayne Meissner said a construction company sprayed the fireproofing material near his work space.

Meissner’s lawyers said being exposed to asbestos caused him to develop a serious disease called mesothelioma. It’s a terminal condition which he developed 30 years after the exposure.

Meissner is 73 years old. He met his wife of 48 years while working at Kodak. While also working at Kodak between 1970 and 1971 his life changed forever.

John Comerford represented Meissner when he took his case to court after developing mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a tumor that wraps around the lung lining and keeps growing.

A jury found Ridge Construction’s conduct was negligent and reckless. On November 16 the jury decided Ridge construction is 80% at fault.

“We found ancient documents that go back to the 60s that show unequivocally that they knew asbestos was dangerous, specifically the way it was used in and around Mr. Meissner,” Comerford said.

Meissner was awarded $8 million. Comerford said this verdict sends a message that showing a blatant disregard for human health won’t be tolerated.

“No amount of money in the world is gonna return this man’s health. And I think if Mr. Meissner could change anything he would love to use this money to eradicate this tumor — unfortunately, that’s not a possibility.”

It’s important to note that this case was strictly against Ridge Construction, not Kodak itself. Ridge is a separate company and is just a construction arm of Kodak. We reached out to Kodak and they had no comment.

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