ASBESTOS NEWS DAILY - Asbestos Pain And Suffering
Asbestos Legal: Asbestos Pain And Suffering
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Asbestos Pain And Suffering diagnosed with Mesothelioma and other Asbestos related diseases have legal options and may seek compensation through Mesothelioma litigation.
Filing a claim against the companies that are responsible for your asbestos exposure will help you gain compensation for medical costs and pain and suffering associated with asbestos-related illnesses. A Mesothelioma lawyer can help you pursue compensation for the following things:
- Lost income
- Medical bills
- Group support for yourself and loved ones
- End-of-life expenses
We help patients and their families make educated, informed decisions about how to proceed with filing Mesothelioma, Asbestosis and other asbestos-related cancer claims.
We will walk you through the entire process of connecting with an experienced Asbestos Pain And Suffering Mesothelioma Lawyer and also help you find a qualified Mesothelioma doctor.
Pain and Suffering – Asbestos Exposure – $9.036 Million Mesothelioma Award
$9.936M Awarded to Son of Merchant Mariner for Household Exposure to Asbestos
Posted January 27th, 2010 bymarketnet
45-Year-Old ManDiagnosed with Mesothelioma in 2007, 35 YearsAfter Exposure to Asbestos Dust on Father’s Work Clothes
BALTIMORE,Md. — January 27, 2010 — A Baltimore City jury yesterday awarded $9.936 million to the son of a merchant mariner who suffers withmesothelioma as a result of being exposed to asbestos dust contained in his father’s work clothes more than three decades ago.
The plaintiff, Leroy Conway, Jr., was just ten years old when his father went to work aboard the S.S. Baltimore Trader, an oil tanker owned and operated by ATTRANSCO, Inc. During the elderConway’s 1974-1977 tenure as an engineman on the vessel, he worked in areas known to contain asbestos, and his uniform would become laden with asbestos particles and dust. Over a three-year period, his young son was exposed to the deadly asbestos that permeated the father’s work clothes, which were laundered in the family’s home.
The younger Mr. Conway, now a 45-year-old husband and father of three children, was diagnosed with malignant pleuralmesothelioma in May 2007. He has undergone radical surgery to remove a lung, and is unable to work.
The jury found that ATTRANSCO acted with negligence in its duty to warn and protect its workers — and by extension, their families — from the harmful effects of asbestos and asbestos-containing products installed on their vessels. ATTRANSCO was the sole defendant in the case.
Witnesses for ATTRANSCO, which included the captain of the S.S. Baltimore Trader during the time in question, admitted that it was known that asbestos was present on the vessel. However, it was stated that neither the company nor the captain were made aware of the dangers of asbestos until 1980 at the earliest, and therefore could not have been responsible for Mr. Conway’s injuries.
The jury rejected the defense argument, agreeing with plaintiff that ATTRANSCO should have know of the hazards of asbestos and acted to protect workers well before the elder Conway’s tenure on the S.S. Baltimore Trader. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) commenced regulation of asbestos exposure in 1971, and the harmful effects of asbestos had been documented by industry as early as the 1940s.
Mr. Conway, along with his wife, Yolanda, and mother,Berlena, traveled fromTexas for the 10-day trial. Mr. Conway and his mother both testified. Mr. Conway’s wife was too grief stricken to sit on the stand. All three were in court when the verdict was read. The jury awarded Mr. Conway$9.3 million for pain and suffering,and $636,688 for medical expenses.
“We’re very pleased for the family,” said Scott Frost, WK partner and lead counsel for the case. “Leroy is facing a terminal diagnosis, and his family is facing an uncertain future. The jury brought a measure of justice to theConways today.”
About Waters & Kraus, LLP
Waters & Kraus, LLP,is a plaintiffs’ firm concentrating on complex product liability and personal injury/wrongful death cases. The firm’s diverse practice includes toxic tort (asbestos andmesothelioma) litigation, pharmaceutical product liability, negligence, consumer class actions, elder financial abuse, and consumer product liability, as well as qui tam (whistleblower), and commercial litigation. With offices in Maryland, Texas, and California, Waters & Kraus has litigated cases in jurisdictions across the United States on behalf of individuals from all 50 states, as well as foreign governments.
Press Contact:North Charles Street
Pain and Suffering – Asbestos Legal – $2.99 Million Mesothelioma Award
Asbestos-Laden Parts Lead to $3 Million Jury Award
April 30, 2010 (TopWireNews.com: - Law, press release)
(Mesothelioma News) - Decades after a sailor’s exposure to asbestos and a year after hedied frommesothelioma, a jury in Newport News, Virginia., held a shipyard supplier accountable, hitting the company with a $2.99 million verdict on April 13.
The company’s asbestos-laden parts, the jury said, helped cause the plaintiff’s disease and, ultimately, his death.
RobertHardick, who was 69 when he died in March 2009, was a former U.S. Navy petty officer who had been exposed to asbestos while serving at a naval shipyard and while at sea, from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Mesothelioma, a cancer of the protective lining that covers many of the body’s organs, can take decades to develop. In the vast majority of cases, it is caused by asbestos exposure. It is almost always fatal.
“His doctor talked vividly about his suffering,” said BobbyHatten, amesothelioma attorney with theNewport News firm of Patten,Wornom,Hatten &Diamondstein. “He was avery loved guy.”
Asbestos-a heat-resistant material used heavily on ships -is dangerous when airborne.Hardick, a father of four fromHopkinsville,Ky., had breathed in millions of invisible asbestos fibers at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. As ashipfitter,Hardick often took pumps and valves into a shop area, using brushes and hammers to remove asbestos sealants. In the process, asbestos particles became airborne andHardick breathed them in. Further asbestos exposure came whenHardick served aboard the cruiser USS Newport News.
Themesothelioma lawsuit was against the defendant, Illinois-based John Crane Inc., which had supplied the asbestos-laden parts to the Navy.
Crane’s liability represents half of a $5.98 million verdict returned by the jury. The remainder was apportioned to a codefendant in the case,Garlock Sealing Technologies of Palmyra, N.Y. ButGarlock had previously settled out of court for an undisclosed amount, leaving only Crane on the hook for its half.
Hardick, who became a successful businessman after leaving the Navy, is survived by his wife, Diane. In arriving at the nearly $6 million verdict, the jury awarded $2 million forHardick’spain and suffering; $1.15 million for the loss suffered by his widow; $2.5 million for lost future income; and $327,000 in medical and funeral expenses.
This news was brought to you by themesothelioma attorneys at Cooney & Conway, a nationally recognized law firm that has brought recovery and justice to victims of asbestos exposure and asbestos-related diseases.
120 N LaSalle Street -Suite 3000Chicago,IL60602-2415
Toll Free: (888) 651-1850
Pain and Suffering – Asbestos Trades –Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Mesothelioma Victim’s Family Receives Huge Award In Asbestos Exposure Case: $30.3 Million
By Thomas J. Lamb at AsbestosHUB.com | April 7, 2010
Back in June 2008, we reported on the largest asbestos verdict ever awarded inNew Jersey. The lawsuit pertained to the untimely death of Mark Buttitta, who succumbed tomesothelioma just before his 50th birthday.
Buttitta had been exposed to asbestos through his father, who worked at a GM warehouse as a parts picker. Buttitta also worked at the warehouse during the summers when he was a young man.
In our June 2008 post, we reported that Buttitta’s surviving wife and three daughters were awarded a huge $30.3 million dollar verdict.
The breakdown goes like this:$8 million for pain and suffering, $2 million for loss of consortium, $9,281,660 for loss of earnings, $2,030,544 for loss of services, and $3 million for loss of parental care and guidance for each of Buttitta’s three daughters.
Since that time, the defendants have fought hard trying to appeal and reverse this decision. Falling on several tactics to shirk their responsibility, they have argued that the judge was mistaken in each of these categories:
§ the admission of plaintiff’s expert testimony
§ Borg-Warner’s claims against settling defendants; and,
§ its motion for a remittitur.
After a long and careful review, no errors were found in any of the judge’s rulings. The judgment and award for $30.3 million will stand.
For an excellent and detailed account of each argument for and against the defendants’ claims of judgment error, visit BUTTITTA v. ALLIED SIGNAL, INC. at Leagle.com.
Pain and Suffering – Asbestos Legal – $15 Mesothelioma Jury Award
Mississippi jury awards money for 'every breath' in $15M asbestos verdict
By Sylvia Hsieh
Publication: Lawyers WeeklyUSA
Date: Tuesday, April 20 2010
AMississippi jury has awarded $15 million to a 71 year-old oil industry worker whodeveloped asbestosis after years of handling bags of product containing 99 percent asbestos.
In opening statements, lead plaintiff's attorney Greg Jones ofFranklin, Cardwell & Jones inHouston asked the jury,
"What is the value of a breath?"
Plaintiff Troy Lofton, who testified at trial with tubes in his nose and ears and holding an oxygen bottle that assists his breathing 24 hours a day, alleged that ConocoPhillips manufactured a dangerous product while knowing of its dangers.
The case is only the third to go to trial of over 700 pending cases involving oilfield workers who developed lung cancer, asbestosis ormesothelioma after handling products made by ConocoPhillips or its subsidiaries.
Among the evidence at trial was a handwritten document indicating that the company had weighed the cost of personal injury lawsuits against the profits of continuing to sell asbestos.
Jones requested punitive damages, but the jury declined to award them.
AlexCosculluela, lead defense counsel for ConocoPhillips, declined to comment.
Brian Cain, a spokesperson for the defendant, said that the company is "disappointed with the verdict and plans to appeal any resulting judgment. "
The plaintiff, whose parents were sharecroppers, began his lifelong work in the oil and gas industry at age 25 in 1964, around the same time a subsidiary of Phillips 66 (which later merged into ConocoPhillips ) began sellingFlosal, a mud additive that assisted in oil and gas drilling.
During the twenty years the product was on the market, the plaintiff was responsible for ripping open 50-pound bags and pouring the contents by hand into mud hoppers, thereby inhaling the dust.
At trial, Jones emphasized that the company continued to sell and market the product to customers without warning them of dangers it knew about.
For example, the company told oilfieldemployers who purchasedFlosal that the dust levels didn't exceed OSHA ceilings and therefore they did not have to provide medical exams, keep medical records or perform dust monitoring.
The plaintiff, on the other hand, testified that he "looked like a snowman" every time he handled the product.
According to Jones, company documents dating back to the 1960s revealed that the mixing conditions were "so dusty it was difficult to see and breathe. "
The company avoided testing the product for 11 years, and even after tests established that asbestos dust was produced in workers' breathing zones, it continued to sell the product for another 10 years, Jones said.
He argued that a warning label added in 1968 was insufficient.
"They never put anything on the bag that said asbestos could cause cancer. It was basically an innocuous warning saying, 'Don't breathe this,'" Jones charged. "They continued to tell their customers that the product was non-toxic and essentially dust-free, all of which was false. "
Company documents exposed internal debate over the warnings.
Jones introduced a company memo showing a handwritten mathematical formula weighing the cost of personal injury lawsuits against the profits of selling the product.
Although the defense dismissed it as a "scrap of paper," it was one of many internal memos questioning whether the warnings were sufficient, Jones said.
One live witness
Only one live witness testified for the defense - an expert who opined that it was unlikely the plaintiff had asbestosis even though he admitted he had not reviewed the plaintiff's extensive work history with asbestos, and ultimately acknowledged that Lofton was a "pulmonary cripple. "
Jones also pointed out that the expert stopped seeing patients in 2000 to devote his full attention to serving as an exclusively defense-side expert, from which he has made over $6 million.
According to Jones, in its closing the defense told the jury that it "took courage" for the expert to give his opinion that the plaintiff did not suffer from asbestosis.
Jones countered in his closing: "It didn't take any courage; all it took was money. "
Perhaps most damaging to the defense was not putting a corporate representative on the stand.
Jones' co-counsel Ron Franklin hammered this point home during his portion of closing arguments: "Not one human being, not one executive, not anybody from ConocoPhillips who they can put on the witness stand to tell you this product was safe. Not one person. "
He told the jury the case was "your opportunity to change a man's life and speak for generations of workers nobody cared about. "
After four hours of deliberations, the jury awarded $200,000 in economic damages and$15 million for pain and suffering,loss of enjoyment, emotional distress and fear of cancer.
The next trial overFlosal is scheduled for trial in June inJeffersonCounty, Miss.
Plaintiff's attorneys: Greg Jones and Ron Franklin of Franklin, Cardwell & Jones inHouston; and J. Robert Sullivan of Sullivan & Sullivan in Laurel, Miss.
Defense attorneys: AlexCosculluela and Jeff Trotter of Adams & Reese inHouston.
The case: Lofton v.Phillips 66 Co.; April 7, 2010; Jones County Circuit Court, Mississippi, 2d Judicial District; Judge Billy Joe Landrum.
Pain & Suffering – Asbestos Trades – $14 Million Mesothelioma Jury Award
Jury gives Ford victory in Madison County asbestos trial
3/12/2010 6:39 PM By Amelia Flood
Jurors in a rareMadisonCounty asbestos trial handed a victory to the defendant, Ford Motor Company, after an hour and a half of deliberations on Friday.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs had asked for more than $14 million in damages.
Ford was sued along with a number of other brake manufacturers for allegedly selling products that caused aChicago man'smesothelioma.
Ford was the only defendant that did not settle its case with plaintiffs Larry and Meta Williams.
Meta Williams had made a claim for loss of consortium.
Others defendants were dismissed from the suit before and during trial.
Lead defense counsel Manuel Sanchez of Sanchez Daniels & Hoffman ofChicago praised both the jury and Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder for the verdict.
"It's a new day inMadisonCounty for corporateAmerica," Sanchez said. "Not only did we get a great jury, we got a terrific, fair and impartial judge."
Plaintiff's attorney Jonathan Ruckdeschel of the Ruckdeschel Law Firm of Maryland expressed his disappointment with the verdict.
"I'm disappointed for the Williamses but everyone should have their day in court," Ruckdeschel said.
The Williams case is the first asbestos trial of 2010. It is also the first helmed by Crowder.
Crowder was named to replace Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack as the new asbestos judge. Although she is not set to officially take over Stack's asbestos duties until his December retirement, Crowder has already heard asbestos motion calls and began entering orders in February in the Williams case.
Sanchez called Crowder "an impressive jurist."
Larry Williams, 57, had alleged that asbestos in brake dust caused him to develop mesothelioma.
Ford denied that it acted negligently and that its products had caused the disease.
The trial opened March 3.
Throughout the eight day trial, jurors heard testimony from Williams, his wife, and family members as well as a number of experts ranging from Larry William's oncologist to Dr. Patrick Hessel, an epidemiologist who testified for Ford.
Jurors rendered their verdict after several hours of closing arguments Friday afternoon.
In closings, Ruckdeschel asked jurors to remember the case's importance.
"It's a case about the life and death of a human being," Ruckdeschel said.
He pointed to testimony from Larry Williams' oncologist, Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler, that doctors understand that mechanics and brake workers develop mesothelioma.
Brakes parts throughout the 20th century contained asbestos fibers.
The plaintiff contended that those fibers were also present in dust released when brakes were taken apart.
"This is not controversial outside of the courtroom," Ruckdeschel said. "This stuff is dangerous."
Ruckdeschel stressed that Ford began warning its own employees about the dangers of asbestos from the late 1960s, but that it did not warn the general public.
He attacked fees that Ford paid its experts for testimony in the Williams case and other cases that topped more than $30 million, claiming the company "bought science."
He pointed to a memo from the early 1970s in which Ford discussed internally changing out its brake parts that contained asbestos for parts that did not. According to the memo, which was shown to jurors during the course of the trial, it would have cost the company about $1.25 a part.
Ruckdeschel argued that Ford did not want to spend the money and as a result, Larry Williams was exposed to dangerous materials during his years working on brakes in his cousin'sChicago garage.
"The consequences of this are people like Larry Williams continued to breathe asbestos," Ruckdeschel told jurors. "You got a snoot full of asbestos."
Ruckdeschel dismissed defense testimony that brake dust contains one percent asbestos fibers and argued its experts were "distractions," put on by the company in an attempt to avoid responsibility.
"They are at fault," Ruckdeschel said of Ford. "You can't decide who deserves a warning and that's exactly what Ford did. You can't bet my client's life for your money. And that's what Ford did."
In asking for damages, Ruckdeschel told jurors that the parties had stipulated that Larry Williams' medical bills were $342,033 and that his lost earnings would be $371,860.
He suggested the jury award his client:
· $2 million for the loss of his normal
· $5 million for his shortened life expectancy
· $5 million for his pain and suffering
· $2 million to Meta Williams for the loss of her husband's consortium.
In opening his closing argument, Sanchez countered that he was "shocked" by Ruckdeschel's plea for more than $14 million.
He called it "ridiculous," contending that Larry Williams did not work on Ford brakes and therefore, the company was not liable for his mesothelioma.
"Who's doing the distracting here?" Sanchez said, indicating the plaintiff's table. "Their side!"
Sanchez pointed to charts made up from testimony by Williams and his cousin about how many brake jobs he had done and what brake products he used. According to the charts, Williams handled other products, not Ford's. Sanchez also hammered at differences in Larry Williams' memories of his employment and his cousin's, citing social security records. During part of the time Williams claimed to have been working inChicago, the social security records show his employers were located inTennessee andArkansas.
"I don't care who you are, you can't be in two places at one time," Sanchez told jurors. "Ford is not guilty of negligence and nothing that has been shown to you these past two weeks ... caused Mr. Williams' mesothelioma."
He stressed the 19 studies his experts presented that showed that brake workers had no increased mesothelioma risk and dismissed Ruckdeschel's arguments about "bought science."
Sanchez referenced his client's lone place at the defendant's table, and calling himself and his client, "the last Mohican."
Sanchez asked jurors to decide the case on "credibility, science and common sense."
Sanchez called the damages demand "inflammatory," and decried the plaintiff's arguments about Ford's internal warnings as a case of "no good deed goes unpunished."
"We should not be punished for being proactive," he said.
Ruckdeschel countered in his closing that warning some people and not others did not excuse the company. He showed a power point slide of a snarling dog and "Beware of Dog" sign.
"You can't pick and choose whose life you protect," he told jurors.
While Ruckdeschel had objected multiple times during Sanchez's closing, Sanchez rose when Ruckdeschel characterized his client using violent imagery.
"Mr. Williams is dying from millions of tiny asbestos fibers stabbing him in the chest and getting in the wall and causing cancer," Ruckdeschel had told jurors. "Ford is standing in room with a bloody knife saying it wasn't my bloody knife. My bloody knife can't cause cancer."
Crowder sustained the objection.
As the 2009 suit went on, the other defendants in the suit dropped out, leaving Ford as the sole party at the defendants' table. The last defendant to drop out of the case, John Crane Inc., left the suit Thursday. Crowder announced the departure during testimony Thursday and referenced it again in jury instructions.
The jury began deliberations began at about 4:15 p.m. The verdict was entered shortly before 5:45 p.m.
The Williamses were also represented by T. Barton French ofSt. Louis and Nathaniel Mudd of Edwardsville.
Ford was also represented by Darrell Grams of Addison, Tx., Eric Bergstrom ofRedwood City,Calif., Ryan McQueeney ofChicago and others.
The case isMadison case number 09-L-537.
Pain and Suffering – Asbestos Legal –Asbestos Lawsuits
Asbestos Lawsuits Gaining Momentum
December 9, 2009. By Jane Mundy
Seattle,WA: Although paper mill workers are typically not at high risk for asbestos exposure, aSeattle jury awarded $10.2 million last week to Mr. and Mrs.Barbin in a lawsuit filed against two former manufacturers of asbestos-laden dryer fabrics used on paper machines.
HenryBarbin worked as a pulp tester, paper tester, and more at Scapa Dryer Fabrics, Inc. andAstenJohnson, Inc. between 1964 and 2001. Exposed to asbestos fibers from dryer fabrics for almost 40 years, he wasdiagnosed withmesothelioma cancer in 2006.
Henry and GeraldineBarbin's asbestos lawsuit claimed that the asbestos dryer fabrics were defectively designed and failed to carry warnings about the dangers of asbestos exposure. HenryBarabin was awarded $700,000 for medical expenses, lost income and household services and $8 million in non-economic damages forpain and suffering. GeraldineBarbin was awarded another $1.5 million for her loss of consortium claim.
More Asbestos Lawsuits Underway
On November 20, 2009, Betty Lou Cunningham filed a lawsuit against ChevronUSA, claiming the oil company is responsible for the death of her husband, Billy Cunningham.
The suit alleges that Chevron failed to protect its workers from potentially deadly asbestos dust and fibers. It also claims that Chevron knew the hazards associated with asbestos-containing products but chose not to remove employees from the toxic environment.
While employed at Gulf Oil, Mr. Cunningham was exposed to toxic materials including asbestos dust and/or fibers, which caused him to developmesothelioma lung cancer—an asbestos-related disease—from which he died in February 2009.
According to Asbestos.com, Ms. Cunningham seeks “to recover from the defendant an amount in excess of the jurisdictional limits of the courts.”
On December 7, 2009, aTexas couple filed a lawsuit against 100 companies. Charles Dees and his wife, MaryGuidroz, allege that the companies’ negligence and lack of safety measures exposed Mr. Dees to occupational asbestos for nearly 30 years, resulting in his diagnosis of lung cancer in 2007. Mr. Dees and Ms.Guidroz have included as defendants in the suit gasoline companies BP, Chevron, and A.W. Chesterton.
The suit claims that the defendants' facilities were unsafe and contained asbestos-containing insulation, which was sold and manufactured by product defendants.
Meanwhile, 760 Libby vermiculite miners and residents are still waiting for justice after civil claims against Maryland-based W.R. Grace & Co., the global supplier of catalysts and other products, were halted in 2001 when Grace filed for bankruptcy. W.R. Grace's liability, in this case, was estimated to range from $385 million to over $6 billion. The company proposed to pay into a trust fund from which past, present and future victims can request fair compensation until 2034, providing the judge and a majority of claimants are in agreement.
Los Angeles – Asbestos Legal – $12.1 Million Mesothelioma Award
U.S. Navy Machinist's Mate Awarded $12.1M in 1960s Asbestos-Exposure Case
Posted May 12th, 2009 bymarketnet
LOS ANGELES - May 11, 2009 - AnLA County jury has awarded$12.1 million to a U.S. Navy serviceman who was exposed to asbestos during a single tour of duty in the early 1960s.
The plaintiff in the case is Charles H.Cundiff, a 66-year-old retiredtruck driver who is terminally ill withmalignant pleuralmesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an insidious disease with asingel known cause: asbestos exposure. Mr.Cundiff's exposure occurred during his time as amachinist's mate aboard theUSS Kitty Hawk from 1962 to 1966.
The verdict was announced on May 6, after five days of jury deliberation. Mr.Cundiff wasawarded $10 million for pain and suffering and $506,000 in economic damages for lost wages. His wife, Glenda "Joyce"Cundiff, wasawarded $1.5 million for loss of consortium.
The jury foundmanufacturer John Crane, Inc. and supplier Lone Star Industries liable for both defective products and failure to warn.John Crane was assessed 5 percent liability;Lone Star was assigned 19 percent.
Lead trial attorney Gary M. Paul called the verdict notable, saying, "Today's verdict, right on the heels of theHaupt verdict, demonstrates that theTaylor decision does not result in justice being denied to the asbestos-exposed plaintiff. On the contrary, the jury found fault with both manufacturer and supplier, and not just for defective product, but also for failure to warn. This demonstrates that a strong case with clear product ID can extend the scope of responsibility to all vendors in the supply chain, including third parties, who knowingly provide harmful products to unsuspecting consumers."
The decision by theCalifornia Court of Appeal in Taylor vs.Crane Co. releases manufacturers from a duty to warn of thedangers of asbestos-containing components used in their products if those subcomponents are manufactured or supplied by a third party.
Mr.Cundiff was too ill to take the witness stand. His testimony was presented viadepostion, in which he detailed his work aboard theUSS Kitty Hawk during a four year tour of duty which included a nine month overhaul in thePuget Sound Naval
Shipyard. This work involved cleaning, repairing and replacingvalves,pumps,gaskets,packings and the use ofInsulag insulating cement in the No. 2 and No. 4engine rooms. It was dirty and dusty work that generated large amounts ofasbestos dust that he breathed with no protection.
The close-up work allowed him to recall product brand names stamped into the components.John Crane Inc. was among the product names he encountered. He also recalled seeing trucks with thePioneer Sand & Gravel name pulling into thePuget Sound Naval Shipyard carrying bags ofInsulag. Pioneer, a predecessor ofLone Star Industries, was a supplier ofInsulag, anindustrial insulation product used widely at the time.
The defense attempted to discredit Mr.Cundiff by asserting thatInsulag was not used in the overhaul of theKitty Hawk, and in fact, was not among the approved products that appeared on the Qualified Products List - or QPL - published by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). In addition, the defense claimed, hadInsulag been delivered to the site, it would not have been delivered in the manner described by Mr.Cundiff.
The testimony proved otherwise. During cross-examination, defense expert Thomas McCaffrey admitted that, in fact, there was noDoD Qualified Products List in existence at the time of Mr.Cundiff's service. Additionally, a rebuttal witness - who worked at theshipyard for nearly two decades and had not known Mr.Cundiff - corroborated thesailor's recollection of the manner in which theInsulag product was used, as well as deliveries toPuget Sound Naval Shipyard by Pioneer trucks.
WKP partner MikeArmitage commented, "Mr.Cundiff's recollection of brands and suppliers was sharp, honest, and in the end, indisputable. CharlesCundiff'sintergrity won the day. His courage and tenacity give hope to otherNavy families facing the deadly course ofmesothelioma due to asbestos exposure."
About Waters Kraus & Paul
Waters Kraus & Paul is the West Coast practice of Waters & Kraus, LLP - a nationally recognized plaintiffs' firm concentrating on complex product liability and personal injury/wrongful death cases,particulary asbestos-mesothelioma. In addition to toxic tort litigation, the firm's diverse practice includes pharmaceutical productliabilty, negligence, elder financial abuse, and consumer product liability, as well as qui tam (whistle-blower) and commercial litigation. With offices in California, Texas, and Maryland, Waters & Kraus has litigated cases in jurisdictions across the United States on behalf of individuals from all 50 states, as well as foreign governments.
222 North Sepulveda Boulevard, Suite 1900
Suffered from Pain – Asbestos Legal – Asbestos Related Lawsuit
Illinois Railroad Company Facing Asbestos Related Lawsuit from Former Employee
Posted by admin in asbestos law on February 19th, 2009 |
The Illinois Central Railroad Company is facing a lawsuit by a former employee who claims to havecontracted an asbestos-related disease form his time working for the railroad company.
James A. Miller filed his complaint on February 13th in the St. Clair Country Circuit Court. He claims to have been exposed to asbestos while working as a machinist apprentice and machinist from 1946 to 1951. He mainly worked on locomotive boilers where he says the inhalation of airborne asbestos fibers lead to his disease.
Miller claims he has had asuffered from pain,extreme nervousness, and mental anguish due to his illness. Financially, Miller has had to pay for medical costs, sustained a loss of earnings, and has a diminished ability to render services, society, affection, counseling and support for his family. Lastly, he has experienced a shortened life expectancy according to the suit.
In his complaint, Miller states that the Illinois Central Railroad Company was negligent by failing to warn him of the hazardous effects of asbestos exposure. The company also failed to instruct or provide a safe method for using asbestos-containing products as well as not providing proper ventilation systems and requiring their employees to work in hazardous conditions.
Finally, Miller claims the company did not test him to check for possible ill effects and did not require limited access to areas where asbestos products were being used. The railroad also failed to provide separate lockers for clothing worn home or test products before they were used by employees.
Miller is seeking over $50,000 and any other relief the court feels is appropriate.
Pain and Suffering – Asbestos Lawsuit – $35 Million Mesothelioma Award
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Former sailor awarded $35M in asbestos suit
A former Navy sailor who was exposed to asbestos more than 50 years ago has beenawarded $35.1 million in compensatory damages after he was diagnosed with cancer. John R. Davis was diagnosed in January withpleuralmesothelioma, an aggressive cancer linked to asbestos, in January 2007.
In his lawsuit,Davis claimed his illness was triggered by exposure to asbestos containing pipes and valves during his Navy and private-sector career.Davis had been a boiler tender with the Navy. The verdict includes $100,000 for economic damages;$25 million for pain and suffering; and $10 million for his wife.
Full story -- http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/10/18/ap4235335.html
Pain and Suffering – Asbestos Legal – $2,245,000 Million Mesothelioma Verdict
San Francisco Jury Awards $2,245,000 to Bulldozer Driver and his Wife
On March 16, 2005, aSan Franciscojury awarded $2,245,000 to Daniel andVeneisa Johnson ofMarion,North Carolina for an asbestos-caused cancer. Mr. Johnson is dying ofmesothelioma, an incurable asbestos-caused cancer. This is believed to be the first verdict in theUnited States involving asbestos exposure from Caterpillar machinery.
Daniel Johnson is a 58-year-old bulldozer operator fromMarion,North Carolina who was exposed to asbestos from Caterpillar bulldozers while performing brake and other maintenance.
In March, 2004, Daniel Johnson, husband ofVeneisa Johnson, and father of two children, was diagnosed with malignantmesothelioma, a cancerwhose only known cause is asbestos. Mr. Johnson’s prognosis is terminal and his given three to six months to live.
Mr. Johnson filed his lawsuit inSan Francisco on July 15, 2004. In March, 2005, following a two-week jury trial, the jury found that the remaining defendant, Caterpillar, Inc., was responsible, in part, for Daniel Johnson’s cancer. The jury found that Caterpillar’s products were defective and Caterpillar failed to properly warn of asbestos hazards. Daniel Johnson performed brake servicing on Caterpillar bulldozers from 1978 to 1985 while employed as a bulldozer operator.
The jury found that Mr. Johnson suffered $995,000 in lost income and medical expenses andawarded $1 million in pain and suffering. In addition, Mrs. Johnson was awarded $250,000 for loss of her husband’s care, comfort and society.
Plaintiff alleged he was dying frommesothelioma caused by the totality of his asbestos exposure, including from Caterpillar, Inc.’s products. Plaintiff’s alleged exposure occurred as aboilertender in the Navy for four years between 1967 and 1970 aboard the U.S.S. Yorktown and U.S.S. Independence and at Todd Shipyard inSouthern California for several weeks in 1971. From 1976 to 2004, Daniel Johnson was employed as a bulldozer operator inMarion,North Carolina. From 1978 to 1985, he assisted in the maintenance of brakes and the changing of gaskets on three bulldozers on approximately 15 to 20 occasions. Mr. Johnson alleges he was exposed to asbestos during the maintenance of the Caterpillar bulldozers.
Caterpillar alleged that there is no appreciable asbestos exposure during maintenance of such bulldozers. A special study from 2003 was presented to prove that assertion. In addition, Caterpillar presented achrysotile defense. Caterpillar’s position was that the Navy exposure alone caused Mr. Johnson’smesothelioma.
Jury Trial: Daniel Johnson andVeneisa Johnson v. Caterpillar, Inc., et al.
San Francisco Superior Court Case No. 432923
Judge: The Hon. Donald S. Mitchell, Department 602
Rendered: March 16, 2005
Economic Damages: $995,000
Pain and Suffering: $1,000,000
Loss of Consortium: $250,000
Allocations: Caterpillar, Inc.: 5%
All others: 95%
Estimated Judgment after credits: $900,000
Trial testimony: 17 days; Jury deliberations lasted 6 days
Trial commenced February 14, 2005 and concluded March 16, 2005
Plaintiffs’ expert witnesses included:
Richard Cohen, M.D.
Arnold Brody, M.D.
Barry Horn, M.D.
Allan Smith, M.D.
Barry Ben-Zion, Ph.D.
Defendant’s expert witnesses included:
John Spencer, C.I.H.
William Hughson, M.D.
Carolin Shining, Esq.
Paul & Hanley, LLP
1608 Fourth Street, Suite 300
Pain and Suffering – Asbestos Legal – $11.5 Million Mesothelioma Verdict
San Francisco Jury Returns $11.5 Million VerdictAgainst UNOCAL for Pipefitter's Wife in Gunderson Trial
On December 12, 2002, aSan Franciscojury awarded $11,550,750 to Genevieve Gunderson ofTorrance,California, for a terminal cancer she contracted from her husband's clothing in the 1950s. The verdict against Unocal was on three separate theories of negligence. Ms. Gunderson is dying ofmesothelioma, an incurable asbestos-caused cancer.
Genevieve Gunderson is a 75-year-old homemaker and retired hairdresser fromTorrance,California, who was exposed to asbestos from her former husband, Gordon Fraser's, work as a pipefitter at industrial sites, including Unocal inWilmington,California, from 1948 to 1963.
In October, 2001, Genevieve Gunderson, mother of one adult child, four grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren, was diagnosed withmesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Ms. Gunderson's prognosis is terminal and she has been given only months to live.
Ms. Gunderson filed her lawsuit inSan Francisco in March, 2002. In October, 2002, following a three-week jury trial and three days of deliberation, the jury found the remaining defendant, Unocal, 9.3% at fault. Ms. Gunderson was exposed to asbestos in her home when she shook out and laundered her husband's work clothing. Her former husband, Mr. Fraser, worked at the Unocal refinery inWilmington,California, as a pipefitter, intermittently for approximately three years from 1948 to 1963 during their marriage.
The jury found that Ms. Gunderson suffered $550,750 in lost income and medical expenses based upon the expert testimony ofSanta Rosa economist Dr. Barry Ben-Zion andBerkeley pulmonologist Dr. Barry Horn. Ms. Gunderson was alsoawarded $11 million for her pain and suffering. Evidence was presented that cancers such as Ms. Gunderson's can be caused by relatively low exposures, including dust brought home on workers' clothing. Though largely ignored, the industrial community was well aware of recommendations for providing workers who worked around asbestos and other harmful dust with changing rooms, work clothing, and workplace laundry service.
"This is another chapter in the continuing tragedy created by industry's indifference to worker safety and particularly to asbestos hazards," stated Ms. Gunderson's lawyer, ofBerkeley,California. "Ms. Gunderson is pleased with the jury's decision. While it will not change her terminal condition, it will provide her with some satisfaction that those who caused this problem are being made to take responsibility."
The case was initially filed in March, 2002, against 40 separate defendants, and was advanced to trial quickly because of Ms. Gunderson's terminal condition. Before trial all defendants except Unocal, Chevron, and Fluor Corporation settled. Chevron and Fluor Corporation settled during trial. The total verdict will be reduced by the other parties' settlements. The final judgment against Unocal is estimated to be approximately $1.5 million.
Case Summary: Plaintiff, Genevieve Gunderson, is 75 years old and is dying frommesothelioma. She alleged she contractedmesothelioma from asbestos exposure brought home by her ex-husband from 1948 to 1963. It was undisputed that Ms. Gunderson has an asbestos-causedmesothelioma.
Her ex-husband, Gordon Fraser, was a pipefitter at large industrialsites from 1946 to 1982 throughoutSouthern California. He was married to Ms. Gunderson from 1948 to 1963. During the marriage, he wore his work clothes home and she laundered them twice weekly. He worked at Union Oil (Unocal) on several large construction projects for a total time of approximately three years from 1948 to 1963. These were all new construction projects and his employers were Bechtel and Flour Corporation (both of whom settled during the trial).
Unocal presented both duty and state-of-the-art defenses. Defendant argued it was unforeseeable that before 1960, "take-home" exposures could cause disease. Therefore, they argued no duty as a matter of law (the court denied all motions on this issue). They also argued that they were not negligent. They supported their case with the expert testimony of Dr. William Hughson, a pulmonologist and HowardSpielman, a Certified Industrial Hygienist. Plaintiff responded with state-of-the-art testimony of Dr. BarryCastleman.
The defendant found in plaintiff's favor on three separate theories of ordinary negligence, premises liability, and peculiar risk.
Jury trial: Genevieve J. Gunderson v. A. W. Chesterton Company, et al. San Francisco Superior Court Case No. 406207
Judge: The HonorableTomar Mason, Department 608
Case filed: March 29, 2002
Verdict rendered: December 12, 2002
Total verdict: Total Economic Damages $550,750 Total Non-Economic Damages $11 million
Trial testimony: three weeks; deliberations lasted three days
Trial commenced: November 14, 2002 and concluded December 12, 2002
Allocation: 90.7% to all other defendants; 9.3% to Union Oil Net judgment after settlement verdict and costs approximately $1,485,725
Plaintiff’s experts included: Richard Hatfield, Materials Analyst Specialist, Atlanta, GA Barry R. Horn, M.D., Pulmonologist, Berkeley, CA BarryCastleman, M.D., Medical State of the Art, Baltimore, MD Barry Ben-Zion, Ph.D., Economist, Santa Rosa, CA Kenneth Cohen, C.I.H, Ph.D., El Cajon, CA Allan Smith, M.D., PhD., Epidemiologist, Oakland, CA
Defense experts included: William Hughson, M.D. Pulmonologist,San Diego,CA HowardSpielman, Certified Industrial Hygienist,Los Alamitos,CA
Prior settlement negotiations: Plaintiff served CCP§ 998 offer for $300,000 which was rejected. During the trial plaintiff's last demand was $700,000.
Asbestos Pain and Suffering – Asbestos Company – $16.925 Million Mesothelioma Verdict
Woodard vs. Alfa Laval, Inc.et.al.
66-year-old Dennis Woodard was diagnosed with malignant pleuralMesothelioma in 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.
- February 2, 2009
- $16.925M total award: $1.925M in economic damages,$12.5M for pain and suffering, $2.5M for loss of consortium
- 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
- 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
- Cause No. BC 387 774
- Woodard v. Alfa Laval, Inc. et al.
- Trial length: 3 weeks
- Deliberation: 2.5 days
- 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
- Gary Paul (lead), Kevin Loew and Jillian Rice of Waters Kraus & Paul (LA)
- Daniel Wasserberg of Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas (Houston)
- (Crane Co.) Geoffrey Davis and James Lee of K&L Gates (LA)
- Sepco Corp.) Jerry Popovich of Selman Breitman (LA)
Asbestos Pain and Suffering – Asbestos Legal – Asbestos Lawsuit
Pt. Pleasant man says he was exposed to asbestos on boat
4/20/2010 2:00 PM By Kelly Holleran -Cabell Bureau
HUNTINGTON -- APoint Pleasant man has filed suit against his employer, alleging he was exposed to asbestos fibers while at work on a boat.
Martin Randall Woodall Jr. claims he worked on the M/V Leila Shearer, owned by defendant Campbell Transportation Company, in December 2008 when he learned that the vessel had temporarily been taken out of service for asbestos abatement.
Prior to and after learning of the asbestos abatement, Woodall suffered from lung dysfunction, according to the complaint filed Feb. 24 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. He blames his lung dysfunction and other problems on the asbestos fibers to which he was exposed.
For example, Woodall claims he became sick, sore, lame and disordered; lost wages and his earning capacity; experiencedpain and suffering; incurred substantial medical costs; and sustained disability because of his exposure.
He alleges unseaworthiness, negligence and maintenance and cure against Campbell Transportation Company.
Woodall is seeking compensatory damages, plus attorneys' fees and other costs.
Matthew L. Clark of Kayser, Layne and Clark inPoint Pleasant will be representing him.
U.S. District Court case number: 3:10-cv-182
Asbestos Pain & Suffering – Asbestos Company – $200 Million Mesothelioma Verdict
Jury awards woman $200 million in asbestos case
April 30, 2010 | KPCC Wire Services | KPCC
A jury awarded a woman more than $200 million after it found that her rare form of cancer was caused byexposure to asbestos from washing her husband's contaminated work-clothes.
A Superior Court jury found this week that Rhoda Evans'mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos dust from CertainTeed asbestos cement water pipes, said attorney Larry Gornick of Levin Simes Kaiser & Gornick LLP, which represented the Evans family.
In addition to $8.8 million in compensatory damages to be paid by DWP and CertainTeed, the jury agreed late Thursday to also levy $200 million in punitive damages against CertainTeed, the attorney said.
Calls for comment to representatives of CertainTeed and DWP were not immediately returned.
The next step in the lawsuit before Superior Court Judge Conrad R. Aragon is a series of motions to be filed by both sides, Gornick said.
Aragon will decide on any award amount to be paid, which is expected to be reduced, Levin said.
"It is our hope that the damages awarded will relieve some of Rhoda's suffering, as well as the burden of her medical expenses so that her life will be prolonged and she can continue to care and provide for her young granddaughter,'' Levin said, adding that the 7-year-old girl was orphaned a few
years ago when Rhoda's own daughter died of complications from juvenile onset diabetes.
"We also hope that the punitive damage award will serve to make the community safer by making product manufacturers think twice before concealing dangerous characteristics of their products.'' he said.
The case stems from Bobby Evans' employment with DWP from 1974 to 1998.
As part of his job, Gornick said, Evans was routinely exposed to asbestos while working with pipes manufactured by CertainTeed, aValley Forge, Pennsylvania.-based manufacturer of building materials.
Gornick said the jury found CertainTeed had knowledge that asbestos caused cancer in the early 1960s. However, the company continued to manufacture the asbestos pipes and did not place a cancer warning on them until 1985, the lawyer said.
"CertainTeed was fully aware that its products contained cancer-causing asbestos, but chose not to warn about the risk for decades, said another plaintiff attorney, William Levin.
The jury found CertainTeed liable for punitive damages, forpain and suffering, and for loss of future earnings and medical expenses, Gornick said.
After Evans retired from the DWP, the couple, who are now in their late 60s, relocated toNorth Carolina.