Pennsylvania Jury Awards $7M in Asbestos Lawsuit

Posted on AsbestosHUB.com.

A Pittsburgh, PA jury awarded $7 million in damages to the family of Alphonse Tripoli, a Ross man who died of exposure to asbestos while working at building in downtown and two other locations.

The jury found Koppers Co. Inc., which was taken over by Beazer plc in 1988, to be responsible for 40 percent of the damages.

Dravo Corp., which was acquired by Belgium’s Carmeuse Group, and Fisher Scientific International Inc., part of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., were each found to be responsible for 10 percent. The remaining damages will be split among a litany of other defendants, mostly companies that made and sold asbestos products.

Tripoli worked on and off as a union contractor in the Koppers building on Grant Street for about seven years, beginning in 1968.  He worked at Dravo and Fisher Scientific.  All three job sites contained asbestos.

“Koppers failed to warn him or anybody what they knew,” said Tripoli’s attorney. “The dirty little secret Koppers was trying to keep finally came out. They knew, and I guess they just didn’t care.”

Tripoli died Jan. 20, 2006 at age 68, about six months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma — a cancer formed by exposure to asbestos.  His family — including wife, Nancy, and son, Jeffrey — filed a wrongful death lawsuit in 2006.

The trial, which began last week, was heard before Common Pleas Judge Michael A. Della Vecchia. An assistant for the judge acknowledged a verdict had been reached yesterday but would not confirm the judgment amount.

In 2006, as part of a separate case, an Allegheny County judge ruled that Koppers officials knew of the dangers of asbestos since 1918, when it was a member of the National Safety Council, an organization formed, according to their website, to educate and influence people to prevent accidental injury and death.

Watch Tom Lamb tell the story on Asbestos News Minute.

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