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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 were very thorough identifying all the asbestos products I came in contact with while working at G.E. for 35 years. Thanks.

- Ron , Schenectady , NY

W&L Facts

  • More than 2,200 pipefitters have used us as their legal advisors. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got more than $350 million from the petrochemical industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got more than $2 billion from the power plant industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We helped more than 3,500 clients from Florida. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got $518 million from the chemical industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We won a $75 million verdict for clients who were exposed to asbestos at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in the 1940s and 1950s. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got almost $135 million from the military industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We helped Brooklyn Navy Yard workers get $104 million in a class-action case against Johns-Manville. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We won lung cancer cases totaling almost $1.5 billion. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Almost 1,700 boilermakers have used us as their legal advisors. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Almost 5,500 Navy Vets have used us as their legal advisors. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We helped almost 1,600 clients from New Jersey. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We won non-malignancy cases totaling almost $1.5 billion. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We worked with almost 4,400 clients with lung cancer. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We won a $64.65 million award for 4 construction site workers who had asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got $1.8 million from the aviation industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Almost 22,000 construction workers have used us as their legal advisors. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We’ve been helping clients for more than 25 years. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We earned $7.4 billion for our clients. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Our largest single Asbestos Exposure settlement was for almost $6 million. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
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