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Sailor awarded $35.1 million in mesothelioma lawsuit

Pleural mesothelioma is a deadly cancer that is linked exclusively to the inhalation of asbestos particles in the air. The incubation period is a long one: the lag time between asbestos exposure and the onset of pleural mesothelioma can be anywhere from 20 to 50 years.

John R. ‘Jack’ Davis was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a disease linked to asbestos exposure. In his suit, Davis claimed that he was exposed to asbestos-covered pipes and valves during his tour of duty in the U.S. Navy, as well as his private-sector career. This navy sailor was awarded $35.1 million in compensatory damages for exposure to asbestos while serving more than fifty years ago. The verdict, delivered by a jury in Los Angeles Superior Court after a five-week trial, came after deliberations of less than a day, and breaks down to $100,000 for economic damages, $25 million for Mr. Davis’ pain and suffering, and a further $10 million for his wife.

The Navy, along with a number of un-named defendants, will have to pool in order to pay the lion’s share of the award, 85.8 per cent. The remaining 14.2 per cent of the award is the responsibility of Leslie Controls of Florida, and Warren Pumps of Massachusetts, which will each pay 7.1 per cent. The latter two companies were identified as having supplied asbestos-based material to the Navy.

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