A St. Louis County judge approved a judgment of nearly $390,000 plus continuing weekly benefits for a man exposed to asbestos dust in the course of his employment.
Tony A. Callaway, a career insulator, alleged that he was last exposed to the hazardous material in May 1997 while working for National Surface Cleaning in the St. Louis area, where his duties often included removing asbestos-laden insulation from industrial plants and powerhouses. He was diagnosed in 2018 with debilitating asbestosis, a progressive and permanent scarring of the lungs and leaves him at increased risk of lung cancer and may require a lung transplant in the future.
The employer no longer exists, but AIG, the insurance carrier covering the time of last exposure, does. Adam J. Reynolds of the O’Brien Law Firm, an attorney for Callaway, said the insurer never filed an answer or otherwise appeared in the underlying workers’ compensation claim despite repeated notices.
In April 2022, an administrative law judge found that Callaway was permanently and totally disabled and entered a lump-sum award of $389,571.56, plus continuing benefits for remainder of employee’s life in weekly amount of $1,089.79, which Reynolds said are projected to exceed $1.4 million over course of Callaway’s life.
Reynolds then successfully had the award converted to judgment in St. Louis County Circuit Court. The plaintiff is now seeking to recover the judgment from the insurer.
Venue: St. Louis County Circuit Court
Case Number/Date: 22SL-CC02573/May 10, 2022
Judge: Ellen Ribaudo
Plaintiff’s Expert: Dr. Thomas M. Hyers, C.A.R.E. Clinical Research, St. Louis (pulmonology)
Insurer: AIG Property & Casualty
Caption: Tony A. Callaway v. National Surface Cleaning Inc.
Plaintiff’s Attorney: Adam J. Reynolds, O’Brien Law Firm, St. Louis