Jury awards widow $10.4M verdict in mesothelioma lawsuit

July 27th, 2006

A jury has awarded the widow of a former Virginia shipyard worker $10.4 million in her mesothelioma lawsuit against three makers of asbestos products that he used on the job.

Wanda Jones’ husband, Buddy, worked for four years in the 1960s sealing pumps and making gaskets at Newport News Shipbuilding. Because of his exposure to asbestos at the shipyard, Jones received a mesothelioma diagnosis in 2004 and died within a year. Mesothelioma symptoms are usually caused by exposure to asbestos in airborne form. Even with mesothelioma treatments, the disease is almost always fatal within one to five years.

The jury’s verdict was handed down on the first anniversary of Jones’ death. Mrs. Jones said that although the anniversary was a sad one, she is pleased with the verdict. “It’s a mixed day,” she says. “At least there’s been some justice and recognition for what he went through, certainly through no fault of his own.”

Jones’ mesothelioma lawyer, Robert Hatten, said that the verdict was an important one because one of the defendants, John Crane Inc., had refused to settle in other mesothelioma lawsuits filed against it. “A lot of these companies now accept responsibility and settle these cases regularly,” Hatten says. “I hope this verdict will make companies like John Crane change their corporate attitude.” Industrial materials makers Johns Manville Corp. and Garlock Sealing Technology were also named in the mesothelioma lawsuit.

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