Minn. Jury Reaches Defense Verdict for Flowserve, Scapa Dryer Fabrics

March 2, 2009 – Media Coverage

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A Minnesota jury has rejected claims that a former millwright's mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos in the remaining defendants' gaskets, packing or dryer felts, sources told HarrisMartin. Skelly, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. 62-CV-07-4527 (Minn. 2nd Jud. Dist. Ct., Ramsey Cty.).

The Second Judicial District Court for the County of Ramsey jury reached the verdict on Feb. 26 after a two-week trial, sources said. Flowserve Corp. and Scapa Dryer Fabrics Inc. were the lone remaining defendants at the time of the verdict.

The defendants argued during the trial that Skelly's mesothelioma was instead caused by asbestos-containing thermal insulation at his work site and additionally that his employer failed to protect him from potential dangers.

The claims were asserted by Gordon B. Skelly and his wife, Judy, who claimed that Gordon's mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos from gaskets and packing in Flowserve's pumps and asbestos dryer felts manufactured by Scapa Dryer Fabrics.

Skelly worked as a millwright at a paper mill for more than 30 years, sources told HarrisMartin.

According to the verdict sheet, the jurors found that neither Flowserve nor Scapa Dryer Felts designed or supplied a product that was in a defective condition.

Instead, the jurors assessed 70 percent liability to Blandin Paper Co., Skelly's employer. The remaining liability was allocated to the manufacturers of the thermal insulation, Johns-Manville (20 percent) and Owens Corning Fiberglass (10 percent).

In accordance with Minnesota law, jurors are asked to determined damages regardless of any determination of liability. As such, the jury found that $5 million would compensate the plaintiffs for the damages they experienced.

Testifying on behalf of the plaintiffs were Dr. Arnold Brody and Dr. Edwin Holstein.

Testifying on behalf of the defendants were Donna Ringo, CIH, Dr. James Crapo and Dr. Samuel Hammar.

Flowserve Corp. was represented by Stephen J. Foley of Foley & Mansfield. Scapa Dryer Fabrics Inc. was represented by Hawkins Parnell & Young.

The plaintiffs were represented by Waters & Kraus.

Document is Available Call (800) 496-4319 or Search www.harrismartin.com Verdict Sheet Ref# ASB-0903-02

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