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New York County, NY

In this asbestos case, the plaintiffs allege that they were exposed to the chemical during the time they came into contact with the defendant’s products, which it failed to warn was dangerous. The plaintiffs both contracted mesothelioma as result of their exposure to the defendant’s products. The defendant denied the allegations, and disputed causation and damages.

The male plaintiff, Sweberg, was employed as a union electrician from ________ through ________, and alleged he was regularly exposed to asbestos during new construction, renovation, and repair of numerous New York City schools and high-rise buildings. He had hands-on contact with electrical products on a daily basis, and was present when other tradespeople were applying asbestos containing insulation to boilers, pumps, valves, and other equipment. In ________, he was diagnosed as suffering from asbestosis, and in ________, he was diagnosed with plural mesothelioma. Due to the asbestosis diagnosis, he received twice annual CT scans of his chest to monitor for asbestosis progression. During one of these check ups, his physician noted a spot on the lining of his lung, the diagnosis of that being mesothelioma.

The second plaintiff, Hackshaw, was a marathon runner and a native of Curacao who came to the United States in ________. However, from ________ through ________, he worked as a pipefitter and electrician on the island at a water distillation plant, as well as at a Shell Oil refinery. During this work, the plaintiff, Hackshaw, was exposed to hundreds and hundreds of Crane valves, which he would work on, performing installations, repairs, and renovations. One of his specific tasks was to apply and remove asbestos insulation from them. He was also responsible for changing the asbestos containing gaskets associated with the valves. The testimony demonstrated that, in particular, the plaintiff used an asbestos-laden material from which custom gaskets could be fashioned onsite. The product was called Cranite Asbestos Sheet Gasketing Material, and it contained 75-85% asbestos. Prior to his death, the plaintiff testified during depositions how he was tasked with making gaskets out of this material by cutting and beating it with a ball-peen hammer. He described, in detail, the asbestos dust clouds coming from it while he was working.

The plaintiffs separately brought suit against the defendant, alleging that it knew, or should have known, of the dangers of the asbestos in its products, and failed to warn them of the dangers associated with exposure to the fatal chemical.

The defendant denied the allegations, and disputed causation and damages. The defendant argued that it was not its products that caused the plaintiff’s mesothelioma.

The matters were consolidated by the court, since the issues, facts, evidence, expert testimony, and defenses were essentially the same.At the conclusion of the four-week trial, the jury deliberated for two days, and returned its verdict in favor of both plaintiffs, and against the defendant. The jury awarded a total of $________, consisting of $________ for past pain and suffering, and $________ for future pain and suffering to the plaintiff, Sweberg, and $________ to the estate for the plaintiff, Hackshaw, who passed away during the course of the litigation. The jury found that the defendant was negligent, and it acted recklessly with conscious disregard for the safety of the plaintiffs. The jury allocated liability at 9% to the defendant in the Sweberg matter, and 20% to the defendant in the Hackshaw matter. Many other defendants were named in the litigation, and their claims were resolved prior to the trial.

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