Manhattan Jury Awards $47 Million to Boilermaker With Asbestos Disease
In March 2003, a Manhattan jury awarded a Pennsylvania man who is dying of cancer $47 million for medical expenses, pain and suffering on Wednesday after finding that work he had done in New York for Consolidated Edison and the Long Island Lighting Company had exposed him to asbestos, a carcinogen.
The man, Robert Croteau, 53, worked as a boilermaker at three powerhouses in New York and Long Island in the late 1960's and early 1970's. A five-week trial before Justice Diane Lebedeff of State Supreme Court ended with the jury's announcing its findings that the electrical companies had not provided Mr. Croteau with a safe place to work.
Mr. Croteau, who lives in Pottstown, Pa., and has been told that he has mesothelioma, has about two years to live, his lawyer, Perry Weitz, said yesterday. "For many years the owners of these plants and the contractors who controlled them have not been responsible for asbestos exposure and diseases that have killed people," Mr. Weitz said. "They knew how dangerous asbestos was and exposed men like Mr. Croteau to it regardless."
Chris Olert, a Con Ed spokesman, said that if the judge allowed the verdict to stand, the company would appeal. "We do not believe the law or the evidence supports the preliminary verdict and consider the award to be grossly excessive," he said.
From shipfitters, pipefitters and demolition workers, to those toiling on railroads and in construction, Weitz & Luxenberg has many clients whose needless and entirely avoidable exposure to asbestos ultimately led to them developing asbestos-related diseases.
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