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In February of 2000, Paul Coyle, a St. Louis native, was diagnosed with mesothelioma – a lung cancer typically caused by exposure to asbestos. The long latency period of the disease left Coyle unaware of his condition for decades, eventually resulting in a tight battle for his health.
As a young man in the early 1960s, Coyle enlisted in the U.S. Navy in hopes of being of service to his country. His three-year tour as a boiler tender on the USS Arnold required him to work with and around asbestos-containing products and equipment, a common reason for exposure by U.S. Navy veterans.
Oblivious to the fact that he had breathed in toxic asbestos dust during his time in the Navy, Paul and his wife of 37 years, Carolyn, were shocked by the news of his malignant mesothelioma diagnosis. The pain of the illness and the discouraging rate of survival drastically affected the Coyles. Without the strength and energy Paul needed to maintain his distribution business in Missouri, financial strain accompanied the physical and emotional distress he and Carolyn felt.
Nevertheless, the Coyles remained optimistic, never once wavering from their faith. As devout Catholics, the couple regularly took to communion in their home, effortlessly praying for the miracle of a speedy recovery. The bond of love and support made Paul, Carolyn, and their daughter Christine, who worked in Chicago, a tight-knit family despite any distance that separated them. When Paul fell ill, Christine would often fly home to Missouri to be there for her parents when they needed her most. The unconditional perseverance of the Coyle family, even with the odds they faced, continues to inspire all those who face the same challenges.
Unfortunately, just three months following his diagnosis, Paul Coyle died at the age of 57 due to complications from mesothelioma. Though troubled and still grieving, his family sought out justice with the help of experienced asbestos attorneys at Waters Kraus & Paul. The firm filed a case against Crown Cork and Seal, a company that manufactured products with the cancer-causing mineral, and whose customers included several oil refineries, and the U.S. Navy.
By aggressively fighting the corporate giant responsible for the endangerment of former repair and installation workers like Paul Coyle, resolution was finally reached in August of 2003. Carolyn and Christine Coyle were awarded compensatory damages on behalf of their late husband and father as a result of the company’s negligence and unlawful conduct. Not only was there comfort in knowing that financial burden would no longer be their reality, but there was peace in finding justice for Paul – a man who had been a firsthand witness of how asbestos companies put profits over human life.
Carolyn Coyle’s devotion to fighting for those who have been affected by asbestos exposure continued even after Paul’s passing. In 2004, our firm joined Carolyn, along with several other asbestos victims and their families, to Washington D.C. to discuss the Asbestos Claims Criteria and Compensation bill. The act intended to be passed by Congress would require an individual exposed to asbestos have at least a Class 2 permanent respiratory impairment to be eligible for claims – rendering those who were diagnosed in the early stages of their illness unentitled to compensation through legal means. As she met with senators, Carolyn Coyle explained how this bill would affect the outcome of future asbestos cases by not allowing victims and their families to have their cases heard by a judge or jury. Through sheer determination and profound belief in what is right, Carolyn and others were successful in their protest. The failure of the bill to pass was yet another victory in favor of Paul Coyle and his memory.
Client Name: Paul Coyle
Diagnosis: Malignant Mesothelioma
Occupation: Boiler Tender, U.S. Navy
State/Location of Filing: Dallas, Texas
Cause No. CC-00-12306-C
Coyle, et al v. Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc, et al
Dallas County Court at Law No. 3, Texas
Hon. Judge Sally Montgomery, presiding
Paul Coyle was exposed to asbestos-containing products through his employment with the United States Navy in the early 1960s. During this period, he worked as a boiler tender in the boiler rooms of the USS Isbell DD-869. While there, Paul worked with and around asbestos-containing products and equipment. Paul was married and had a 27-year old daughter when he died of mesothelioma.
That’s the first question everyone asks. The truth is it’s impossible to know. But we can tell you this. Waters Kraus & Paul has what it takes to fight against big corporate interests and win. That’s why we’ve taken more mesothelioma trials to verdict than any other firm. And that’s why we’ve recovered more than $1.3 billion for clients like you. Do you think you have a case? Contact us now to speak with an attorney.