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Wash. Jury Awards $10.2 Million in Dryer Felt Asbestos Case

December 17, 2009 – Media Coverage

SEATTLE -- A Washington jury has awarded $10.2 million to a former paper plant worker who claimed that his exposure to asbestos in dryer felts caused him to develop mesothelioma, sources confirm to HarrisMartin. Barabin, et al. v. AstenJohnson Inc., et al., No. C07-1454 (W.D. Wash.).

Jurors in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington reached the verdict on Nov. 19 after a three-week trial in which Scapa Dryer Fabrics Inc. and AstenJohnson Inc. were the remaining defendants, according to the verdict sheet.

Judge Robert S. Lasnik presided over the trial.

The claims were asserted by Henry and Geraldine Barabin, who contend that Henry's 33-year employment at Crown Zellerbach Paper Mill exposed him to asbestos-containing dryer felts that were used on paper machines. Barabin also worked for four years as a laborer at a Texaco Refinery in Texas.

The jury allocated $700,000 in economic damages, $8 million in non-economic damages to Henry Barabin and $1.5 million for Geraldine Barabin's loss of consortium claim.

According to published reports, the defendants will be held jointly liable for the full amount awarded under Washington law.

The defendants argued during trial that their products were safe in that they did not release asbestos fibers because they were wet. The defendants also maintained that the asbestos was encapsulated and further that they stopped putting asbestos in the fabrics in 1980.

Counsel for the plaintiffs were James P. Nevin and Cameron O. Carter of Brayton Purcell in Novato, Calif.

Scapa Dryer Fabrics Inc. was represented by Christopher Collier of Hawkins Parnell & Young and Lisa Williams and Jane Kirkwood of Williams Kastner.

AstenJohnson Inc. was represented by Forrest Ren Wilkes of Forman, Perry, Watkins, Krutz & Tardy and Bill Shaw and Martha Rodriguez Lopez of K&L Gates.

Document is Available Call (800) 496-4319 or Search Verdict Sheet Ref# ASB-0912-02

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