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Asbestos Plaintiffs Awarded $64.65 Million

The prognosis for the four plaintiffs in this asbestos personal injury case is grim, according to their attorney, Robert J. Gordon. Each is expected to die soon from an incurable form of cancer. William Falloon, the youngest plaintiff, was diagnosed in 1995 with mesothelioma, a terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs, whose only known cause is exposure to asbestos.

From 1963 to 1975, Mr. Falloon was a pipe coverer at various construction sites in New York. Milton Karasik, 66, and Corindo DeBerardinis, 73, were also recently diagnosed with mesothelioma. Mr. Karasik was a sheet-metal worker at the Brooklyn Navy Yard from 1954 to 1965; Mr. DeBerardinis was a carpenter at various New York construction sites for more than 30 years, until 1975. Frank Pankowitz, a former Coast Guard engineman, was diagnosed with a rarer form of mesothelioma, called peritoneal mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the abdomen.

Each sued more than 20 makers of asbestos and their cases were consolidated for trial. All but three of the defendants settled before trial, for undisclosed sums. The remaining defendants at trial were Westinghouse Electric Corp., Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp. and Worthington Corp.

At trial, the three companies sought to limit damages, said Paul E. Blutman, of New York’s Costello, Shea and Gaffney, which represented Worthington. The companies were not very successful. On Dec. 6, 1995, a New York jury awarded the four plaintiffs one of the largest asbestos awards ever — a total of $64.65 million. The largest share, $22.4 million, went to Mr. Falloon. The other awards were: Mr. Karasik, $16 million; Mr. DeBerardinis, $15 million; Mr. Pankowitz, $11.2 million.

The three defendants, however, are not equally on the hook for these amounts. Their individual liability will be apportioned in a second phase of the trial, which was scheduled to begin in late January. The amount awarded to each plaintiff will be reduced, depending on percentages of liability determined.

The defendants are also entitled to setoffs relating to the earlier settlements. The defendants will appeal the damages verdicts, Mr. Blutman added. “I don’t think they’ll hold up on appellate review.”

 

Recent W&L Results

  • $20 Million

    The family of a former Navy shipfitter who died earlier this year of mesothelioma received a verdict of against a manufacturer of boilers that were insulated with asbestos.

  • $25 Million

    Two men sought help after getting cancer due to asbestos-tainted products. Crane Co., the product manufacturer, acted recklessly and with conscious disregard for safety. W&L is relentless in ensuring that innocent victims are not brushed aside.

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Mesothelioma and Asbestos

W&L has been extremely thorough in determining what firms were responsible for my asbestos disease. They deserve all of the praise that I give to them. Thanks for all your help and care.

- Wally , Long Island , NY

W&L Facts

  • Our Asbestos Exposure Team has more than 50 lawyers. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We worked with more than 31,000 clients who had asbestosis or pleural disease.

    Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Almost 1,700 boilermakers have used us as their legal advisors. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got $665 million from the companies in the iron and steel industries. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Almost 22,000 construction workers have used us as their legal advisors. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got $53 million from asbestos product manufacturers.

    Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We won a $37 million verdict for 2 clients — a steam fitter and a boiler maker — with asbestos lung cancer. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We’ve been fighting for your rights for more than 25 years. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We helped clients from all 50 states. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • More than 4,000 carpenters have used us as their legal advisors. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We helped more than 3,500 clients from Florida. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Our $190 million verdict in a mesothelioma case is the largest of its type in NY. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We won a $190 million verdict for 5 clients who were exposed to asbestos. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got more than $110 million from the automotive industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Almost 5,500 Navy Vets have used us as their legal advisors. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got $48 million from the railroad industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • More than 39,000 clients have used us as their legal advisors.

    Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • More than 900 sheet metal workers have used us as their legal advisors.

    Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We obtained a $190 million verdict in a mesothelioma case. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got more than $350 million from the petrochemical industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
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