The verdict followed a nine-day trial against John Crane, Inc., which was the sole defendant remaining of more than 50 she and her husband initially named as defendants after he was first diagnosed with the deadly cancer in 2013. He died just four months later. After his death, wrongful death claims were added to the litigation.
The plaintiff alleged the decedent was exposed to the airborne fibers while working on boilers in Navy ships. Specifically, the gaskets, made by defendant John Crane, Inc., contained asbestos. Even the packing material in which the gaskets were shipped had asbestos in them.
The defense attempted to point the finger at numerous other companies. Although asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, the defendant argued it wasn’t their asbestos that sickened him. Instead, it was the exposure he suffered from other manufacturers.
The plaintiff conceded that other manufacturers were at least partially responsible. In fact, among the initial defendants were makers of products used at a local steel mill where his father used to work. The decedent’s father used to track home asbestos on his clothes and on car seats each day after his shift.
Still, jurors in the case against John Crane, Inc. found the company was negligent and contributed to the decedent’s disease. However, that $1.42 million verdict will likely be offset by settlements with other parties in the case, as required under state law in New York.
The verdict amount included $400,000 in medical expenses. In the four months between his diagnosis and his death, the decedent underwent aggressive surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
During trial, defense lawyers argued asbestos contained within the gaskets was “encapsulated” and therefore posed no risk to the victim. However, that simply isn’t true, and the fact that we’ve seen many thousands of mesothelioma lawsuits filed by U.S. Navy veterans and their family members is further proof that exposure to this substance while working on ships was both very real and very common.
Help for mesothelioma victims can be found at The Ferraro Law Firm by calling 1-800-275-3332. Offices in Miami and Washington, D.C.
State Supreme Court jury in Buffalo awards $1.42 million in mesothelioma case, July 29, 2015, By Melinda Miller, The Buffalo News
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Defendants Pursue Genetic Mutation Theory in Asbestos Cases, April 9, 2015, Florida Asbestos Lawyer Blog