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Navy Vessels – Asbestos Exposure – $1.2 Million Mesothelioma Verdict

Family of former navy man awarded$1.2 million asbestos verdict

June 19th, 2009 by Wendi Lewis

anchor 100x100 Family of former Navy man awarded $1.2 million
asbestos verdict

 A jury inNewport News,Virginia, Circuit Court awarded the family of a former Navy sailor $1.2 million, finding that hisdeath frommesothelioma was linked to the asbestos fibers he inhaled during his career. Gerald Gray died in April at age 75, after battlingmesothelioma for 16 months. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that most often affects the lining of the lungs, but which can also affect the lining of the abdomen or, more rarely, the heart. It is caused by asbestos exposure.

According to a report in the Newport News Daily Press, five manufacturers were defendants in the case, and the jury originally awarded the family a verdict of $4 million. However, four of the five companies settled out of court before the case went to trial. The jury assigned a percentage of blame to each of the five defendants, leaving the only company to go to trial, John Crane Inc., responsible for 30 percent of the blame for damages, which amounted to $1.2 million. John Crane is an Illinois-based manufacturer of gaskets and other parts used in ships.

Gray passed away before the trial began, but jurors watched a video the man recorded prior to his death. He worked on many ships during his 20-yearNaval career, and was exposed to asbestos in his work repairing ships, as parts were replaced. Asbestos was used extensively on ships, includingNavy vessels, for decades before its use was discontinued due to health hazards of asbestos exposure.

According to the Daily Press report, Gray’s attorney said the man never blamed the Navy for his illness, and asked hospice workers to allow him to hold aU.S. flag as he died.

 

http://www.mesothelioma.law.pro/news/2009/06/19/family-of-former-navy-man-awarded-12-million-asbestos-verdict/

 
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Navy Ships – Asbestos Exposure – $10 Million Mesothelioma Damages

 

Meso lawsuit inVirginia tries new twist on asbestos litigation

December 2nd, 2008 by Wendi Lewis

 

A story published last week in the Daily Press, which servesNewport News,Virginia, reports a new approach to litigation on behalf ofmesothelioma victims injured byasbestos exposure on the job. The story involvesStanley Morton, who worked in the shipyard for 33 years as an electrician. He contractedmesothelioma in 2005 after being exposed to asbestos fibers throughout his career, and died at age 72 in 2007. His family sought compensation from Exxon (now Exxon-Mobil) – the company that owned some of the ships Morton worked on – instead of any parts suppliers, a groundbreaking departure from the usual path for such suits.

 

A jury hearing the case was asked to award Mr. Morton’s family $10 million in damages against Exxon, because the company knew the risks of asbestos in its ships but did nothing to warn workers of the danger, according to the news story.

Attorneys for Exxon argued the asbestos could have come from any number of vessels or other sources, not just the Exxon-owned craft. They pointed out Morton worked on many types of ships, includingNavy ships andcargo ships.

 

According to the news report, Exxon said it did not know of the dangers of asbestos on itships until the late 1970s, but Morton’s lawyers alleged Exxon knew about the dangers of asbestos as early as 1937 and cited a 1964 letter from Exxon in which a company official warns that asbestos may be dangerous even to those who do not work in direct contact with the substance.

 

On Tuesday, theNewport News Circuit Court jury sided with Exxon-Mobil. According to the Daily Press, jurors felt the shipyard should be held responsible for Mr. Morton’s illness. However, the shipyard is protected by worker’s compensation immunity.

 

http://www.mesothelioma.law.pro/news/2008/12/02/meso-lawsuit-in-virginia-tries-new-twist-on-asbestos-litigation/
 
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Women and Mesothelioma – Asbestos Lawsuit – $7 Million Mesothelioma Award

Couple awarded $7 million in asbestos lawsuit

Thursday, March 13, 2008

(03-12) 17:25 PDTSAN FRANCISCO -- A San Francisco jury has ordered anasbestos manufacturer to pay more than $7 million in damages for exposing a onetimefilm actress and singer to thefibers that caused her terminal cancer while she was working in a home-remodeling business with her husband, the couple's lawyer said Wednesday.

The Superior Court jury assessed Joan and Daniel Mahoney's damages at $20 million Monday and assigned 30 percent of the responsibility to Georgia Pacific Corp., the only defendant in the trial, said attorney JohnLangdoc. He said the company probably would be ordered to pay a slightly higher proportion of the award, $7.1 million, under the rules on shared liability.

The rest of the damages will go unpaid, but the couple previously reached confidential settlements with other manufacturers,Langdoc said. He said the verdict was one of the largest ever in an asbestos case.

Joan Mahoney, 69, who now lives inSouth Lake Tahoe, was too ill for an interview Wednesday, her lawyer said. He quoted her as saying, "I'm happy that in the last part of my life, I've been able to make a difference in the corporate conduct of Georgia Pacific."

The company said it would appeal.

"We sympathize with Mrs. Mahoney and her family," Georgia Pacific attorney John Childs said in a statement. "However, based on the use, frequency and amount of exposure she has described - as well as the type of asbestos fiber that was contained in our joint compound - it is highly unlikely that a product formerly made by GP could have caused her injuries and illness."

Langdoc said Joan Mahoney grew up inSan Francisco, with alcoholic parents who were unable to care for her, and got her first job at 13 singing at the Purple Onion inNorthBeach by telling the management she was 18.

She moved toLos Angeles two years later and pursued a career in show business for 30 years, appearing in a low-budget 1965 film called "Psycho a Go-Go," singing at nightclubs and touring the world seven times with the USO, her lawyer said.

She and her husband, a Bay Area math teacher, moved toSouth Lake Tahoe in the late 1960s and started a part-time remodeling business to make ends meet,Langdoc said. He said the products they used included an asbestos compound made by Georgia Pacific to fill cracks in sheetrock.

The lawsuit claimed that the company continued making the compound long after learning that asbestos could cause cancer and competitors found substitutes, and stopped only after the federal government outlawed asbestos products in 1977.

The couple sued in 2006 after Joan Mahoney was diagnosed withmesothelioma, a type of lung cancer linked to asbestos exposure. Doctors then gave her no more than nine months to live,Langdoc said.

He said she is living in pain from the disease while also caring for her husband of 42 years, who suffered a stroke last year.

E-mail BobEgelko atbegelko@sfchronicle.com.


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/03/12/BADMVINSN.DTL&feed=rss.bayarea#ixzz0pGJszUfc


 
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USS Salisbury Sound – Navy Ship Exposure – $16.925 Million Mesothelioma Verdict

Woodard vs. Alfa Laval, Inc.et.al.

Case Summary

66-year-old Dennis Woodard was diagnosed with malignant pleuralMesotheliomain January 2008. He was exposed to asbestos during a 32-month period aboard theUSS Rogersas a machinist's mate, and later as an electrician's mate aboard theUSS Salisbury Sound. His 8-month tour aboard theUSS Rogersconstituted the most acute exposure, where he daily worked in the ship's boiler and engine rooms helping to repair and maintain a variety of steam lines, pumps, valves,and turbines. Crane Co. argued that the type and amount of asbestos (chrysotile) in their products would not have caused his illness, but pipe insulation manufactured by others likely would have. Defense also contended the U. S. Navy bore full responsibility for protecting its sailors. The jury found Crane Co. liable for its failure to warn.

Verdict

  • February 2, 2009
  • $16.925M total award: $1.925M in economic damages, $12.5M for pain and suffering, $2.5M for loss of consortium
    1. Approx. $2.0M assessed against Crane Co.
  • Crane Co. and 9 others assessed 0.5% liability. Sepco Corporation, 0%.U.S. Navy, 85%. Nonspecified insulation manufacturers, 10%
  • Punitive damages not considered by the jury

Significance

  • Plaintiff's verdict in what was essentially a Navy bystander exposure case
  • Jury clearly held manufacturers responsible for failure to warn
  • Substantial economic damages awarded - thought to be one of the largest to date in LA County in an asbestos-mesothelioma case

Case Information

  • Cause No. BC 387 774
  • Woodard v. Alfa Laval, Inc. et al.
  • Trial length: 3 weeks
  • Deliberation: 2.5 days

Jurisdiction

  • Los Angeles County,Calif., Superior Court,Dept. 56
  • Hon. Jane L. Johnson, presiding

Plaintiff's Experts (*live testimony, **video depostion)

  • *Arnold Brody, M.D., cell biologist
  • *Carl Brodkin, M.D., occupational and environmental medicine
  • **Roy Smythe, M.D., thoracic surgeon and plaintiff's private physician
  • *Arnold Moore, Naval architecture and marine engineering expert (USN, ret.)

Defense Experts(live testimony)

  • Samuel Forman, M.D., occupational medicine
  • Michael Graham, M.D., pathologist
  • Adm. David P. Sargent, Jr. (USN, ret.), Navy expert
  • Frederick Boelter, C.I.H., industrial hygienist

Plaintiff's Counsel

  • Gary Paul (lead), Kevin Loew and Jillian Rice of Waters Kraus & Paul (LA)
  • Daniel Wasserberg of Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas (Houston)

Defense Counsel

  • (Crane Co.) Geoffrey Davis and James Lee of K&L Gates (LA)
  • Sepco Corp.) Jerry Popovich of Selman Breitman (LA)
PDF -http://www.goldbergsegalla.com/publications/asbestos/December-2009.pdf
 
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Navy Ships – Navy Submarine Veteran –Mesothelioma Death

Kalamazoo County commissioner GradyBiby, 69, dies from cancer

By Kathy Jessup |Kalamazoo Gazette

February 04, 2010, 11:34PM

Grady Biby

 

GradyBiby

 

KALAMAZOO— GradyBiby stunned his fellowKalamazooCounty commissioners in late July when he announced he would be absent for two months as he battled cancer.

The Texas Township Republican was never able to return to the board.

The 69-year-old, four-term county commissioner on Wednesday lost his battle withmesothelioma, a cancer that he attributed to his years aboardNavy submarines that were likely riddled with asbestos.

Biby’s widow, Linda Kerr, was the first to seek elected office after the couple moved toTexasTownship in the 1990s and she ran for township clerk. Later, her husband joined the township’s Zoning Board of Appeals before being elected to the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners in 2002.

“Grady was not given to making speeches, but he would always be prepared and look at what was good for the people of the county,” PeterBattani,KalamazooCounty administrator, said Thursday. “He was a good man and a thoroughly good commissioner.”

DebBuchholtz, county board vice chairman, saidBiby’s cancer announcement in July was met with “shock and grief.”

“It was clear it was a serious diagnosis,”Buchholtz said. “He had hoped there would be some new, experimental treatments that could help him.”

Kerr said doctors at an internationally knownmesothelioma treatment center inBoston found too much cancer attached to the lining of her husband’s chest cavity for surgery to be effective.  So he returned toMichigan for chemotherapy.

“This wasn’t the outcome we prayed for,” she said. “But you die how you live and Grady hung on to the bitter end.”

County board Chairman DavidBuskirk saidBiby gave fellow commissioners copies of the book “Same Kind of Different As Me” a year ago.

“I’m not a great reader, so I was struggling with it. But it’s about two people who are opposites who came together and learned that life was about a lot more than just themselves,”Buskirk said. “That’s how he dealt with people.

TexasTownship will never know how great a representative they had.”

Born inOklahoma,Biby spent20 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring in 1979.  After his discharge, he went to work for Consumers Energy at the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant near South Haven until his retirement in 1995. Later, he formed his own company with the help of a relative and also worked for a local construction company and the U.S. Census Bureau.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by four children and 10 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son.

A memorial service is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at Calvary Reformed Church,7829 S. Fifth St., with Pastor Greg VanHeukelom officiating.

 

http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/02/kalamazoo_county_commissioner_4.html

 
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Submarines – Navy Ships - Mesothelioma Deaths

 

Mesothelioma Deaths Ruled ‘Negligent Homicide’

 

Posted on Monday, May 03, 2010.


Theshipbuilding industry is the single most hazardous work environment in terms of asbestos exposure.  Now some Italian executives are being forced to own up to that fact and face jail time.  An Italian court has convicted three ex-executives of the Fincantieri shipbuilding company inPalermo of ‘negligent homicide’ in themesothelioma deaths of 37 former employees.   The court ruled the defendants failed to protect or even warn the workers about the inherent risks of asbestos exposure – even though the danger had been known for years.

 

Shipyards are where large ocean-going vessels, such as cargo ships, oil tankers, military vessels orsubmarines are built or repaired.  Before the health risks of asbestos were known, such as causing mesothelioma, the mineral was prized in the shipbuilding industry for its strength, durability, anti-corrosive properties and heat resistance – qualities which made it an ideal insulator.  Until the 1980’s, asbestos was frequently used in ships to cover pipes, insulate walls, floors, ceilings, and boiler rooms, and in gaskets, gasket coverings, turbines and pumps.

 

Every year, about 10,000 people worldwide, many of them shipping industry workers, contract mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure.  Shipyard workers whose job it was to repair ships, sailors who worked on those ships, and even longshoremen who loaded and unloaded ships were routinely exposed to asbestos, with sometimes deadly consequences. A 1980 study conducted atNew York’s Mt. Sinai School of Medicine found that, among shipyard workers with 20 years or more of experience, 86 percent showed signs of asbestos-related cancer or other disease.  Many of the study subjects had been exposed to asbestos during World War II, when asbestos use was at its peak and the fast pace of ship repair and maintenance had many shipyards covered in the toxic dust.

 

Workers who are exposed to asbestos over an extended period of time are at highest risk for developing mesothelioma, which may not cause symptoms for 20 to 50 years.  Asbestos is no longer used in the construction of new ships, but is still present in older ships, putting those who repair or restore them at continued risk.  For this reason, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) now strictly regulates asbestos exposure in shipyards.  

 

But despite such regulations around the world since the 1980’s, many workers, including those who worked at the Fincantieri shipyard, are still being exposed illegally. The Fincantieri company was found to have continued to use asbestos in its shipbuilding operations until 1999, three years after asbestos had been outlawed inItaly.  The convicted Fincantieri executives received sentences ranging from three to seven-and-a-half years in jail and will have to pay millions of Euros in damages to the families of the dead workers and to another 26 workers who are still living with mesothelioma.

 

Sources:

 

Ex-Fincantieri Directors Jailed After Asbestos Trial, April 26, 2010, LifeIn Italy.com

Nicholson, William, et al. “Lung Cancer Prevalence Among Shipyard Workers”, January 11, 1980. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Volume 1, Issue 2. Pp. 191-203.

OSHA Regulations 29-CFR, 1915-1001

 

http://www.survivingmesothelioma.com/news/view.asp?ID=00432

 
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Navy Ships – Asbestos Exposure - $2.6 Million Death Verdict

 

JURY AWARDS $2.6 MILLION AGAINST ALLIS CHALMERS CORPORATION

By NancyGalloway on March 24, 2009 United States ofAmerica

255

JURY AWARDS $2.6 MILLION AGAINST THE ALLIS-CHALMERS CORPORATION Simon, Eddins & Greenstone, LLP and Early, Ludwick & Sweeney, LLC gains Multi-Million Dollar Verdict

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Free-Press-Release.com) March 24, 2009 --

Case Style: David H. Fortier, et al., vs. Aerco International, Inc., et al, In the Superior Court J.D. ofFairfield atBridgeport,Connecticut, No. BA 06-5005849S

 

Jury Verdict: $ 2,595,000.00 million

 

Plaintiff(s): David H. Fortier, deceased and Gail M. Fortier

 

Defendant: Allis-Chalmers Corporation

 

Verdict Date: March 10, 2009

 

Facts: David Fortier, a 59-year oldFlorida resident, suffered from mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure. Fortier was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2006 and died from this fatal disease on June 20, 2008. Fortier was a fireman assisting machinist mates in the machinery spaces on theUSS Forrestal from 1969-1972. He regularly worked on and around Allis-Chalmers pumps that contained asbestos gaskets and packing. Many of the pumps were also covered in asbestos insulation.

 

JURY AWARDS $2.6 MILLION AGAINST ALLIS CHALMERS CORPORATION

Following less than five hours of deliberations, the jury returned a $2.6 million dollar verdict in favor of the Fortier family. The jury assessed $1,775,000.00 in non-economic damages and $820,000.00 in economic damages. The jury found that the Allis-Chalmers Corporations pumps were a substantial factor in causing Dave Fortier’s death. The pumps were found to be defectively designed and the jury concluded that the company negligently failed to warn Dave Fortier and others of the inherent dangers of working with their asbestos-laden pumps.

 

“We are so happy for Gail Fortier and her family. David Fortier did exactly what he was supposed to do – he worked hard to provide for his family and served his country honorably. He had no idea that Allis-Chalmers products could hurt him. Allis-Chalmers had every to know that using their product could hurt people, people like Dave Fortier and continued to sell their pumps with no warnings. Only the jury force Allis-Chalmers to accept responsibility. On Tuesday, they unanimously decided that this company was liable for what they did to David and his family,” said Jessica Dean, lead counsel for the Fortier family.

 

Plaintiff attorneys: Jessica Dean, Eddins & Greenstone, LLP,Dallas,Texas

 

Christopher Meisenkothen, Early, Ludwick & Sweeney, LLC;New Haven,Connecticut.

 

Defense attorneys: Jeff Ment, Rome McGuigan, P.C.,HartfordConnecticut

 

Morris Borea,Rome McGuigan, P.C.,HartfordConnecticut

 

Judge: Honorable David Honorable David R.

 

Plaintiff experts: Dr. Arnold Brody (cell biologist); Captain William Lowell (Retired Navy Captain); Dr. Gary Crakes (economist); Jerald Abraham, M.D. (pathologist); and Steven Paskal (industrial hygienist).

 

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CALL: JESSICA DEAN (214)

 

http://www.free-press-release.com/news/200903/1237922095.html

 
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Naval Boilers - $33 Mesothelioma Verdict

Asbestos Suit Brings $33-Million Jury Award

California

April 04, 2002|LISA GIRION, TIMES STAFF WRITER

 

In what is believed to be a record asbestos injury verdict inCalifornia, aSan Francisco jury has awarded $33.7 million in a case involving a 60-year-old former electrician with a rare and incurable form of cancer.

Alfred Todak blamed his cancer on his exposure to asbestos on several jobs from 1960 to 1976, including work around insulation and boilers aboard Navy ships and around joint compound on construction sites.

In November 2000, almost 25 years after Todak quit the electrical trade to become an international nursing recruiter, he sought treatment for shoulder pain and learned that he had mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

 

Mesothelioma, which most commonly begins in the lining of the lung, usually is discovered 15 to 40 years after initial exposure.

"This was a recognition of how terrible a disease this is and how really unfair it is to a guy like Mr. Todak," Gilbert Purcell, his lawyer, said Wednesday. "It's a recognition that people are still getting ill ... that we are not out of the woods for people who had exposures into the '70s."

Todak and his wife, Stephanie, sued more than 25 firms with ties to products that contained asbestos and to which he believes he was exposed. The award includes $22.7million for Todak's pain, suffering and loss of income and $11million for his wife's associated losses.

The Todaks will not receive the entire award, even if it withstands appeal, because 18 firms settled for a total of $4.2 million before the verdict, most of them before trial.

Foster Wheeler Ltd., the last defendant remaining when the case went to the jury, was held liable for 30% of the total verdict, or $10.6 million. TheNew Jersey design, engineering and construction firm said it will appeal the verdict. The company said Todak failed to present credible evidence that he was exposed to one of the company'snaval boilers, as he had charged.

The largest jury verdict in a single-victim asbestos case came last August. ATexas jury awarded $55.5 million to a former home-building worker who blamed his mesothelioma on the asbestos in a Kelly-Moore Paint Co. joint compound he was exposed to on construction sites in the 1970s.

InCalifornia, the previous record verdict was $20.5 million awarded a year ago to a man who blamed his mesothelioma on a career in aStockton plant that made pipe containing asbestos.

A fire-retardant mineral fiber prized as a cheap source of insulation and filler, asbestos has been used in thousands of products, from floor tiles to automotive brakes. More than 550,000 lawsuits have been filed since the 1970s against companies that made, used or sold asbestos or products that contained it, contributing to the bankruptcies of more than 50 firms.

The Todak decision was the first against Foster Wheeler, which has attempted to settle claims where victims show evidence of injury and exposure to a company product. It has fought claims from people who are not sick or cannot prove exposure.

Through the end of 2001, more than 300,000 claims against the company had been closed without payment, and 220,000 had been settled, a company spokesman said. Foster Wheeler had 110,000 claims pending at the end of the year.

Among the companies that settled with Todak was Viacom Inc., which picked up its asbestos liabilities through its acquisition of the former Westinghouse Corp. Viacom agreed to pay Todak $1 million. The entertainment giant spent $21 million on asbestos settlements and defense last year and disposed of about 60,000 claims, according to its latest annual report. Viacom had 106,000 claims pending at the end of 2001.

http://articles.latimes.com/2002/apr/04/business/fi-asbestos4
 
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Navy Ships – Asbestos Exposure - $33 Mesothelioma Verdict

Asbestos Suit Brings $33-Million Jury Award

California

April 04, 2002|LISA GIRION, TIMES STAFF WRITER

 

In what is believed to be a record asbestos injury verdict inCalifornia, aSan Francisco jury has awarded $33.7 million in a case involving a 60-year-old former electrician with a rare and incurable form of cancer.

Alfred Todak blamed his cancer on his exposure to asbestos on several jobs from 1960 to 1976, including work around insulation and boilers aboardNavy ships and around joint compound on construction sites.

In November 2000, almost 25 years after Todak quit the electrical trade to become an international nursing recruiter, he sought treatment for shoulder pain and learned that he had mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

 

Mesothelioma, which most commonly begins in the lining of the lung, usually is discovered 15 to 40 years after initial exposure.

"This was a recognition of how terrible a disease this is and how really unfair it is to a guy like Mr. Todak," Gilbert Purcell, his lawyer, said Wednesday. "It's a recognition that people are still getting ill ... that we are not out of the woods for people who had exposures into the '70s."

Todak and his wife, Stephanie, sued more than 25 firms with ties to products that contained asbestos and to which he believes he was exposed. The award includes $22.7million for Todak's pain, suffering and loss of income and $11million for his wife's associated losses.

The Todaks will not receive the entire award, even if it withstands appeal, because 18 firms settled for a total of $4.2 million before the verdict, most of them before trial.

Foster Wheeler Ltd., the last defendant remaining when the case went to the jury, was held liable for 30% of the total verdict, or $10.6 million. TheNew Jersey design, engineering and construction firm said it will appeal the verdict. The company said Todak failed to present credible evidence that he was exposed to one of the company's naval boilers, as he had charged.

The largest jury verdict in a single-victim asbestos case came last August. ATexas jury awarded $55.5 million to a former home-building worker who blamed his mesothelioma on the asbestos in a Kelly-Moore Paint Co. joint compound he was exposed to on construction sites in the 1970s.

InCalifornia, the previous record verdict was $20.5 million awarded a year ago to a man who blamed his mesothelioma on a career in aStockton plant that made pipe containing asbestos.

A fire-retardant mineral fiber prized as a cheap source of insulation and filler, asbestos has been used in thousands of products, from floor tiles to automotive brakes. More than 550,000 lawsuits have been filed since the 1970s against companies that made, used or sold asbestos or products that contained it, contributing to the bankruptcies of more than 50 firms.

The Todak decision was the first against Foster Wheeler, which has attempted to settle claims where victims show evidence of injury and exposure to a company product. It has fought claims from people who are not sick or cannot prove exposure.

Through the end of 2001, more than 300,000 claims against the company had been closed without payment, and 220,000 had been settled, a company spokesman said. Foster Wheeler had 110,000 claims pending at the end of the year.

Among the companies that settled with Todak was Viacom Inc., which picked up its asbestos liabilities through its acquisition of the former Westinghouse Corp. Viacom agreed to pay Todak $1 million. The entertainment giant spent $21 million on asbestos settlements and defense last year and disposed of about 60,000 claims, according to its latest annual report. Viacom had 106,000 claims pending at the end of 2001.

http://articles.latimes.com/2002/apr/04/business/fi-asbestos4
 
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