California Mesothelioma Settlement

Former Machinist Wins California Mesothelioma Settlement

Robert “Bobby” Hilt of Vallejo, will receive a California mesothelioma settlement in his lawsuit that adds up to $7.5 million. His trial ended in late December with the last of 11 defendants agreeing to settle out of court. Hilt, 64, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2008, and his claim was heard in San Francisco Superior Court.

Lock Manufacturing, California Shipyard Work & Asbestos Exposure Settlement

It was argued that Hilt's mesothelioma was caused by asbestos exposure during a series of jobs he held in the San Francisco area from 1963 to 1972. During this time, he worked as:

    * A janitor at Schlage Lock Co. in Bayshore for two years

    * A machinist for Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and Mare Island Naval Shipyard, where he worked on Sturgeon-class submarines

He and his wife of 43 years, Geraldine, have lived in Vallejo for the past 20 years.

Hilt's San Francisco-based attorney, Gilbert Purcell, noted that naval shipyards are well known for exposing their employees to toxic levels of asbestos before stringent asbestos limits were imposed in the 1980s. He contended that Hitt's work at Schlage Lock was also a likely source of asbestos poisoning.

Hilt was diagnosed with mesothelioma by physicians at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Vallejo, California.

Manufacturers and Suppliers of Asbestos Products

The defendants in Hilt's lawsuit manufactured, supplied or distributed asbestos-containing products that Hitt handled or was exposed to at his places of work. The trial began in November 2008 and lasted for two weeks.

The $7.5 million settlement is among the highest for a California mesothelioma settlement, the state with the highest rate of asbestos-related deaths in the U.S. according to the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization.