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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 provided a measure of peace for me and my family, and a measure of justice for my loving husband. Thank you so much.

- Roslyn K. , Brooklyn , NY

W&L Facts

  • We got $665 million from the companies in the iron and steel industries. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Our Asbestos Exposure Team has more than 50 lawyers. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We played a pivotal role in establishing asbestos bankruptcy trusts that hold $30 billion to compensate victims. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We won a $64.65 million award for 4 construction site workers who had asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We helped clients from all 50 states. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We worked with almost 4,400 clients with lung cancer. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Our largest single Asbestos Exposure settlement was for almost $6 million. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got more than $2 billion from the power plant industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Almost 5,500 Navy Vets have used us as their legal advisors. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We won a $47 million verdict for a boilermaker who died from mesothelioma. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got more than $110 million from the automotive industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got $48 million from the railroad industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We helped almost 1,400 clients from Massachusetts. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Almost 1,700 boilermakers have used us as their legal advisors. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We helped Brooklyn Navy Yard workers get $104 million in a class-action case against Johns-Manville. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got $518 million from the chemical industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We won a $53 million verdict for brake mechanic suffering from mesothelioma. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We worked with more than 31,000 clients who had asbestosis or pleural disease.

    Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got $53 million from asbestos product manufacturers.

    Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • More than 39,000 clients have used us as their legal advisors.

    Mesothelioma and Asbestos
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