The family of Barbara Bobo, an Alabama woman who died in 2013 of mesothelioma, will receive $3.5 million as recompense for her pain and suffering and her medical expenses.
Barbara’s husband, James Bobo, did clean-up work at an Athens-based nuclear power plant after asbestos insulation was installed. He died of asbestos-induced lung cancer in 1997. Barbara, who for more than twenty years had inhaled secondhand asbestos fibers while laundering her husband’s work clothes, was diagnosed in 2011 with malignant pleural mesothelioma. She died of mesothelioma two years later.
While Barbara Bobo’s exposure to asbestos stemmed from two other sources in addition to her husband’s work clothing while he was at the power plant (he had also worked a machine operator for a wire plant, exposing her to fibers he carried home, and she was exposed to asbestos through her own work as a beautician), the judge found that Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, which is owned and operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), had violated OSHA’s worker safety regulations as well as its own safeguards.
In his opinion, Judge Lynwood Smith explained that the TVA owed a duty of reasonable care to Barbara Bobo and others like her.