$44 Million Awarded To Families Of Five Killed By AsbestosNational Law Journal
George Adinolfi was a sheet metal worker at various construction sites in New York from 1958 to 1965. In 1991, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs whose only known cause is exposure to asbestos. Mr. Adinolfi died the next year. He was 52 years old. John Caccamo was a welder in the Brooklyn Navy Yard from 1951 to 1954. He died of mesothelioma in 1991 at the age of 58. Joseph O''Halloran, a former pipefitter at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, died of mesothelioma in 1991, at the age of 63. Scott Petteys was 49 years old when he died of the same disease in December 1992. He had been exposed to asbestos while working as a machinist in the U.S. navy, said his family attorney, Robert J. Gordon. Kenneth Reid had been exposed to asbestos while in the Navy, said Mr. Gordon. Mr. Reid was 55 years old when he died of mesothelioma in July 1994. The families of these five men sued more than 20 makers and distributors of asbestos. The cases were consolidated for trial, and all but three of the defendants settled before trial. On June 23, the remaining defendants - Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp., Worthington Corp., and AC&S, Inc. - were hit with a $44.14 million verdict. Mr. Adinolfi''s family was awarded the highest amount - $11.62 million, including $7 million for his pain and suffering. The pain and suffering awards for the other four ranged from $5.5 million to $6.5 million. A substantial remittitur, particularly of the pain and suffering awards, is expected by both sides. The defendants are also entitled to setoffs because of the previous settlements. The final judgement will be reduced in the next phase of the trial, when the jury apportions liability. That phase, which is scheduled to begin July 11, will determine whether punitives will be awarded.'
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