Category Archives: Damages

Missouri Appeals Court Affirms $10M Punitive Damage Award Against Valve Manufacturer Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, May 2, 2017

Jeannette G. Poage, the plaintiff, filed a products liability suit against defendant Crane Co. in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, alleging that her husband, James E. Poage, suffered personal injuries and wrongful death from mesothelioma, which was caused from Mr. Poage’s work with the defendant’s products. Mr. Poage served in the U.S. Navy from 1954-58 as a machinist on the USS Haynesworth where he helped maintain the valves on the ship that required replacing gaskets and packing. The plaintiff alleged that…

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Verdict Against Brand Insulation Upheld on Various Grounds, Including yhat General Negligence Duty of Care Recognized for Take Home Exposure Court of Appeals of Washington, January 23, 2017

The trial court found in favor of the plaintiff, finding Brand Insulation, Inc. liable for the mesothelioma suffered by Barbara Brandes due to secondary asbestos exposure from her husband’s work at ARCO. Brand appealed, and the plaintiff appealed the remittitur reducing the damages award from $3.5 million to $2.5 million. The court affirmed the verdict and reversed the remittitur. Brand was an insulation subcontractor during construction of the ARCO Cherry Point Refinery. At first Brand installed asbestos-free insulation, but later switched to asbestos insulation due…

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Court Upholds Verdict in FELA Matter in Face of Limitations Argument But Vacates Damages Award and Remands Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, October 18, 2016

In this negligence actions brought under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, affirmed the jury’s verdict against defendant Illinois Central Railroad Company (Central) but vacated the award of damages and remanded for a new damages hearing. In 2003, Paul McGowan was diagnosed with lung cancer and died. In December 2008, his estate filed a 13-count complaint seeking damages from various defendants as a result of Mr. McGowan’s lung cancer and death. Count IV of the complaint was for…

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Breakdown of $21 Million Verdict in Miami, Florida Circuit Court of 11th Judicial Circuit for Miami-Date County, Florida, August 30, 2016

On August 30, 2016, a Miami, Florida jury awarded nearly $21.4 million in damages to Richard Batchelor and his wife, Regina, in a case where the plaintiffs alleged that Bechtel Corporation caused his mesothelioma. The case proceeded only against the defendants Bechtel Corporation and Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation, as Foster Wheeler settled the day before the verdict. The verdict sheet demonstrates that, after the jury found that negligence on the part of Bechtel was a legal cause of the plaintiff’s damages, the jury turned to…

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Court Issues Significant Verdict Reduction Based in Part on Jury Error of Finding Intentional Misrepresentation and Fraudulent Concealment Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County, July 18, 2016

In a case previously reported on in ACT, a California jury found for the plaintiffs, Louis Tyler and Elizabeth Tyler and against defendant American Optical Corporation (AOC), the lone defendant remaining at trial, with an award of $22.8 million. This award consisted of $1.8 million in economic damages (medical expenses, lost income, household services, etc.) and $21 million in non-economic damages. The jury also found that AOC acted with malice, oppression and fraud, and awarded $10 million in punitive damages. The overall verdict totaled…

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California Appellate Court Affirms All of Trial Court’s Rulings in Extensive Damages Case Against Kaiser Gypsum Court of Appeal of California, January 21, 2016

The plaintiffs in the case were a married couple who filed a claim for personal injury due to bystander asbestos exposure after the husband was diagnosed with mesothelioma. After a lengthy trial against defendant Kaiser Gypsum, the plaintiffs were awarded $21 million in compensatory damages but the jury could not reach a verdict regarding punitive damages. A retrial was ordered on this issue, and the second jury awarded $20 million in punitive damages, which the court reduced to just under $4 million. Defendant Kaiser Gypsum…

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Post-Trial Motion for Additur Granted, Increasing Mesothelioma Pain and Suffering Damages Supreme Court of New York, December 18, 2015

The plaintiff’s decedent, Richard Voelker, was diagnosed with and died from mesothelioma. A personal injury action was pursued and resulted in a verdict awarding the Estate various damages, including a pain and suffering award of $250,000. The plaintiff filed a post-trial motion for additur arguing that the jury’s award for pain and suffering was inadequate compensation for Mr. Voelker’s “extraordinarily horrific” suffering. The court granted the motion, increasing the pain and suffering award to $600,000. The court cited to the plaintiff’s video trial testimony and…

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After Supplier Defaulted Through Nonappearance, Court Awarded Damages In Unopposed Proceeding Supreme Court of New York, Erie County, Eighth Judicial District, October 9, 2015

An Erie County, New York court has issued a decision on damages in a default action where damages and liability were uncontested following a two-day bench trial in an asbestos case involving Joseph Muir, a 58-year-old man living with mesothelioma.  Defendant Hedman Resources, Ltd. was the only remaining defendant. Hedman had been served with  the summons and complaint pursuant to alternative service granted by the court two years earlier. Hedman never appeared in the action and was in default at the time of the trial.…

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NYCAL Court Denies Post-Verdict Disclosure of Settlement Amounts and Agreements Supreme Court of New York, New York County, July 24, 2015

In this NYCAL case, defendants Cleaver Brooks, Inc. and Burnham LLC brought post-verdict motions on a variety of issues, including disclosure of settlements for the purpose of molding the judgment. By the time the motion was heard, the remaining issues were if “plaintiffs failed to disclose settlements in a timely fashion, and, if so, whether such failure affected defendants ability to present evidence with respect to Article 16 entities, and whether defendants are entitled to disclosure of the settlement agreements, including the amounts of settlement…

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Court Analyzes Damages Under FELA Supreme Court of Tennessee, at Knoxville, July 1, 2015

In this case, a railroad worker who was diagnosed with lung cancer filed suit under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) alleging the railroad had exposed him to asbestos as well as other hazardous materials. The jury awarded $8.6 million, finding the railroad negligent and negligent per se, but it also found the decedent was 62 percent at fault due to his smoking history. Following the return of the verdict, the trial court instructed the jury that because of its finding that the railroad had…

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