Drywaller Awarded USD$27 Million for Asbestos Exposure

April 03, 2013 at 3:09 PM

A drywall worker who built houses during the California housing boom in the 1970s, when asbestos was used in virtually every type of building material, has won a $27 million jury award for a cancer caused by the toxic substance.

 When he was still in high school in 1967, Michael Sutherland got a job as a drywaller and continued working on residential and office buildings in San Diego County for over 25 years. Sutherland would rush from job to job, particularly during the housing boom in California, barely noticing the clouds of dust around him.

 “With all the trades working on top of each other trying to finish one job and move on to the next, it was always dusty,” he said. “It wasn’t until I became a lead maintenance mechanic at University of California San Diego and attended a class on job safety in 2003 that I learned that so many of the materials used on the jobs back then contained asbestos.”

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