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Shipyard worker receives $10.3 M in mesothelioma lawsuit

August 10th, 2006

Former Navy shipyard worker George Barnes has been awarded $10.3 million in an asbestos lawsuit against the Thorpe Insulation Co. Barnes worked for 25 years as a union shipfitter at a San Francisco dockyard, where exposure to asbestos led him to contract mesothelioma.

During the trial, Barnes said that Thorpe used products containing asbestos for the entire period that he worked at the shipyard, from 1967 until 1992. He received a mesothelioma diagnosis in 2005. Mesothelioma symptoms include chronic cough, shortness of breath, weight loss, fever and pain in the chest.

Attorneys for Mr. Barnes called the verdict for their client one of the largest in California over the last 15 years. Damages awarded by the jury included $9 million for pain and suffering from Barnes’ mesothelioma symptoms, $210,000 for medical bills, $861,083 for loss of past and future income and $178,974 for Barnes’ inability to care for his family’s two-acre property. An additional $100,000 was awarded to Barnes’ wife for loss of consortium.

Because Barnes’ attorneys believe that Thorpe will be unable to pay the damages from the mesothelioma lawsuit, they estimate that he will have to go to court against the company’s insurer to collect from the jury verdict.

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