Jurors Award $10 Million at Conclusion of Living Mesothelioma Trial

August 9, 2005 – Media Coverage

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- Jurors have entered an award of $10 million against Universal Supply Group after a half day of deliberations, finding for a plaintiff recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, sources told HarrisMartin Publishing. Rhodes, et al. v. Universal Supply Group, No. MID-L-297-04 (N.J. Super. Ct., Middlesex Cty.).

The Aug. 5 verdict came after two weeks of trial in front of Judge Edward J. Ryan of the New Jersey Superior Court for Middlesex County. Sources said they believed it to be the largest asbestos plaintiff's verdict in New Jersey and the first plaintiffs' verdict in the state since a $3.2 million judgment eight years ago.

Sources said that jurors awarded $7 million to William Rhodes for pain and suffering and $3 million to his wife, Doreen, for loss of consortium.

William and Doreen Rhodes claimed that William's mesothelioma was caused by his exposure to asbestos-containing products sold by defendant Universal Supply Group. William Rhodes worked as a fuel oil serviceman repairing boilers in private homes, sources said.

Sources said that Universal Supply Group argued during trial that the manufacturers of the boilers on which Rhodes worked were primarily responsible.

Testifying for the plaintiffs was Jacqueline Moline, M.D., an occupational specialist of Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York.

Universal Supply Group did not call any experts to testify, sources said.

The plaintiffs were represented by Moshe Maimon of Levy Phillips & Konigsberg in New York and Arnold Lakind of Szaferman, Lakind, Blumstein, Blader & Lehmann of Lawrenceville, N.J.

Universal Supply Group was represented by Mac S. Gaffrey of Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst & Doukas in New Brunswick, N.J., and Hawkins Parnell & Young in Atlanta.

Document is Available Call (800) 496-4319 or Search www.harrismartin.com Verdict Sheet Ref# ASB-0508-01

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