Georgia Jury Awards Just Under $5 Million at Conclusion of Former Paper Mill Employee’s Asbestos Trial

June 17, 2016 – Media Coverage
HarrisMartin

SAVANNAH, Ga. –– A Georgia state court jury has awarded $4,993,550.16 at the conclusion of an asbestos trial, finding for plaintiffs who alleged that exposure to lone remaining defendant John Crane Inc.’s asbestos-containing products contributed to the decedent’s development of mesothelioma.

The Georgia State Court for Chatham County jury reached the verdict on June 13; Judge H. Gregory Fowler entered final judgment in the proceedings on June 16, sources told HarrisMartin.

The plaintiffs asserted the claims on behalf of Perry Wilson Adams, contending that he was exposed to asbestos-containing products during the course of his employment as a multi-craft mechanic at a paper mill. John Crane was named as a defendant in the action for its alleged role in supplying chrysotile and crocidolite gaskets and packing used by the decedent, the plaintiffs said. Adams was additionally exposed to asbestos fibers in the defendant’s products in a bystander capacity during his time at the plant, the plaintiffs alleged.

The jury’s award included $1.75 million for pre-death pain and suffering of Adams, $544,550.16 for medical and funeral expenses of Adams, and $2,699,000.00 for the full value of Adams’ life.

During the trial, the defendant argued that Adams was not exposed to asbestos in any of its products and, alternatively, if he was, it was at a dose that was insufficient to cause his injuries.

John Crane additionally maintained that the decedent’s mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos-containing thermal pipe insulation.

Jurors allocated 40.5 percent fault to John Crane Inc.; as such, the court entered a judgment in the amount of just over $2 million against the defendant.

Sources told HarrisMartin that the case was originally tried in 2013, but ended in a mistrial.

Testifying on behalf of the defendant was Charles Blake, CIH.

Testifying on behalf of the plaintiffs were Jerrold Abraham, M.D., pathology; Jerry Lauderdale, CIH; William Longo, Ph.D., materials science; and David Rosner, Ph.D., MPH.

The plaintiffs were represented by Gary M. DiMuzio and Erin E. Jewell of Patten Wornom Hatten & Diamonstein in Newport News, Va.; and Robert C. Buck of The Buck Law Firm in Atlanta.

John Crane was represented by William Swallow and Daniel M. Pammer of O’Connell, Tivin, Miller & Burns LLC in Chicago; and Edward R. Ulloa of Hawkins Parnell & Young in Los Angeles.

Adams v. John Crane Inc., No. STCV1003924 (Ga. State Ct., Chatham Cty.).

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