The plaintiff, Cobb, had worked as a pipe fitter for a railroad from 1943 to 1954. During this time, his duties included working in shops where asbestos was applied and removed from the boilers and pipes of steam locomotives. Approximately forty-six years after leaving the railroad, at age 72, he developed malignant mesothelioma. Cobb sued the railroad under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), alleging the defendant knew asbestos exposure could cause lung disease at the time plaintiff was working for the defendant. Plaintiff also claimed defendant was aware of measures that could prevent or reduce the risk of lung disease.
The case was handled by Willard J. Moody, Jr. and settled on the eve of trial for $1.7 million.