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Ezequiel and Mary Lopez

In 1966, upon graduating from high school in South Texas, Ezequiel (Zeke) Lopez enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was assigned to the U.S.S. Mt. McKinley. For four months, Zeke worked overhauling pipes, insulation and machinery in the engine room. He was completely unaware that the insulation dust he inhaled each day would cause the fatal asbestos-related disease, mesothelioma.

Twenty-seven years later in November 1993, Zeke was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Subsequent to his devastating diagnosis, his pain steadily increased and he grew weaker each day. Five months later, Zeke lost his battle with the disease, leaving behind his beloved wife and three young daughters. He was 47. With the help of Hendler Lyons Flores, Zeke's family took their case to trial in December 1997. A jury awarded a verdict of $12.6 million.

"Our experience with Hendler Lyons Flores was the best and only good part, of our tragic experience," said Mary Lopez. "My daughters are now able to go to college out of state because of the settlement Scott won for us - they now have many more opportunities than they otherwise would have."