Mesothelioma Lawsuits for Electricians Result in $25M Verdict
A New York jury has awarded a combined $25 million in mesothelioma injury lawsuits filed on behalf of two electricians against Crane Co., as a result of work with Crane valves and gaskets that included asbestos.
The trial involved claims filed on behalf of 72 year old Ivan Sweberg and Selwyn Hackshaw, who died last year at the age of 74. Both men worked as electricians and were diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer allegedly caused by exposure to asbestos.
The plaintiffs claimed that Crane Co. knowingly exposed electricians to the hazards of asbestos without adequately warning about the risks or taking reasonable steps to protect workers.
Following trial in New York state court, the jury awarded $15 million to Sweberg and $10 million to Hacksaw’s estate. However, it is unclear how much of the verdict Crane will actually have to pay, as the company was only found 9% liable in Sweberg’s case and 20% liable in Hackshaw’s. The company was found to have acted recklessly in both situations, which could increase the amount it has to pay.
Other defendants were originally part of the lawsuit, including Garlock Sealing Technologies, General Electric and Bell & Gossett Co. However, they all settled with the plaintiffs before the trial.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, which is only known to be caused by exposure to asbestos and breathing asbestos fibers. It is a lethal disease that is often at a very advanced stage when a diagnosis is made, resulting in a very short life-expectancy.
Mesothelioma lawsuits are the longest-running mass tort in U.S. history, with more than 600,000 people having filed a case against more than 6,000 defendants after being diagnosed with cancer that was allegedly caused by inhaling asbestos fibers.
In addition to claims for workers exposed to asbestos, in recent years there have been a growing number of secondary exposure mesothelioma cases have been brought in recent years, with wives, children and other family members alleging they developed the disease after breathing asbestos fibers brought home in the hair or on the clothing of individuals who worked directly with the material.
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