Bill and Geneva Hornsby

Bill Hornsby loved car races. In fact, he met his wife, Geneva, there one night, and it was love at first sight.

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In their 38 years together, Bill and Geneva Hornsby encountered a lifetime of love, adventure, happiness, and even tragedy – the greatest of which came in 1998, when Geneva was diagnosed with lung cancer.

From 1955 to 1993, Bill Hornsby worked as an acoustic ceiling installer in California, often constructing drywall in a number of settings, including hospitals, medical centers, office buildings, and schools. Though a productive job, Bill would eventually find it to be physically costly for himself and Geneva.

When it came to Bill working around asbestos-containing materials, dust accumulation on his clothes was an inevitable part of the process. Every day he wore a different outfit to work, leaving Geneva to do laundry 2 to 3 times per week, with 3 to 4 loads each time. She said that his clothes were so dusty that when she shook them out, she would start to cough. When Geneva was eventually diagnosed with lung cancer, doctors confirmed that it was caused by exposure to asbestos as a result of shaking out and washing Bill’s work clothes.

In the months following her diagnosis, Geneva was forced to prioritize her health and well-being, which meant selling the mortgage company she started 20 years earlier. Through intensive chemotherapy, several radiation treatments, as well as the support of her family and loved ones, Geneva Hornsby, at age 70, managed to survive lung cancer despite the odds she faced. But just as normalcy seemed permanently to settle back into the Hornsby’s lives, another devasting tragedy struck. In March of 2003, doctors diagnosed Bill with mesothelioma, a type of cancer almost always caused by asbestos exposure.

Though he fought with all his might, Bill Hornsby died just three weeks later due to complications, leaving behind five children, two stepchildren, eight grandchildren, and his beloved wife of 38 years. Despite the pain of losing Bill, it was not long until Geneva’s mourning turned into a plea for justice.

In April of 2005, Mrs. Hornsby sought out experienced mesothelioma attorneys at Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel. Together, they brought suit against Kaiser Gypsum, Inc. – the company that manufactured the asbestos-containing joint compound Bill worked with – and other responsible defendants. They claimed the companies were negligent and liable for placing dangerous products into the stream of commerce, or on the market, without warning individuals of the dangers associated with their product.

Following the start of the trial, the case was successfully settled, giving Geneva and her family peace in knowing that their loss was not left without legal remedy.

The Case Summary


Client Name: Bill Hornsby
Diagnosis: Malignant Mesothelioma
Occupation: Acoustical Ceiling Installer

Client Name: Geneva Hornsby
Diagnosis: Lung Cancer
Occupation: Household Exposure: shaking out and washing husband’s laundry

State/Location of Filing: Dallas, Texas


Cause No. 01-4673-A
Hornsby, et al v. 3M Company, et al


Dallas County, 68th Judicial District Court, Texas
Hon. Charles Stokes, presiding


Bill worked as an acoustic ceiling installer in California. The products he used to perform the installations and repairs contained asbestos. He worked at hundreds of different commercial and public jobsites. It was dusty work. When Geneva shook out Bill’s work clothes to do the laundry, it would make her cough. Years later, Geneva received an asbestos-related lung cancer diagnosis, and then Bill was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Geneva teamed with attorneys from Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel and rought suit against those responsible for placing dangerous materials into the stream of commerce and failing to warn of the hazards associated with those products. The case successfully settled after the start of trial.

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What are my chances?

That’s the first question everyone asks. The truth is it’s impossible to know. But we can tell you this. Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel 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.

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