By Andrew Hahn on December 18, 2018
On December 14, 2018, a Cook County jury returned a verdict in favor of defendant Welco in a mesothelioma trial. Startley, et al. v. 3M, et al., No. 2014-L-002716 (Ill. Cir. Ct., Cook Cty.). Welco was the only remaining defendant at trial. Plaintiffs argued that decedent, a career member of the drywall trade, worked with Welco products for one month in 1965 in Chicago, Illinois. Plaintiffs further argued that Welco was negligent for its failure to warn its consumers of the dangers of asbestos in its joint compound. Welco argued at trial that (1) its joint compound only contained chrysotile asbestos; (2) chrysotile asbestos could not cause mesothelioma; and (3) it behaved reasonably given the state of the art information available in 1965. Plaintiffs requested at least $25.8 million for loss of society, emotional distress, and other damages. After a short deliberation, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Welco.