New York jury awards $32 million in Navy mesothelioma suit

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New York jury awards $32 million in Navy mesothelioma suit


WESTLAW JOURNALS, Sept. 16 – A jury in New York has awarded $32 million in damages to a Navy veteran who developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while serving on ships over an 18-year career.

A defense lawyer said a certain appeal will settle important issues for the future of asbestos litigation in New York.

The damages represented $16 million for past pain and suffering and $16 million for future pain and suffering.

The jury in the New York County Supreme Court found defendant Crane Co. 99 percent liable and Elliott Turbomachinery Co. 1 percent liable.

Terry Budd of K&L Gates, national counsel for Crane, said the award is in “clear violation of New York appellate case law” as excessively high.

Budd said Crane will ask Judge Joan A. Madden to reduce the amount.

He said an award of about $3 million would be more in line with judgments in cases where similar injuries were alleged.

Plaintiff Ronald Dummitt served on Navy ships from 1960 to 1977. He said he worked as a fireman and boiler tender and was exposed to asbestos when he repaired valves made by Crane Co.

He also said he was exposed to asbestos in Elliott products when he removed and replaced lagging pads and manhole gaskets.

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