On December 17, 2007, a New York City jury awarded a total of $9 million to compensate two mesothelioma victims and their wives for damages caused by asbestos exposure. The two cases (Rosenberg and Casale) were joined for a single trial before Justice Marcy S. Friedman, Supreme Court, New York County.
The jury verdicts in these cases are being viewed as ground-breaking by mesothelioma trial attorneys, as the verdicts were handed down against companies against whom no jury verdicts had ever been returned in the long history of asbestos exposure litigation in New York City.
The case of Joel and Sharon Rosenberg v. Alpha Wire Company, et. al, Index No. 106697/06 involved the asbestos exposure that Mr. Rosenberg sustained as the result of working as a life-long electrician in New York with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (“IBEW”), Local 3. Mr. Rosenberg started in the trade while still a teenager in 1960. He suffered asbestos exposure while working in New York as an electrician. Mesothelioma due to workplace asbestos exposure developed in Mr. Rosenberg from a variety of New York worksites including the Arthur Kill Powerhouse in Staten Island, the Vista Hotel in the Financial District, the Cross Bay Bridge and the Deutsche Bank Building. Mr. Rosenberg, sustained asbestos exposure in the workplace from a variety of sources including the cutting, sawing and skinning of wire and cable that was insulated with asbestos.
In the Rosenberg case, the New York jury returned a verdict in favor of the Rosenberg’s against a manufacturer of asbestos-containing power cable. This represents the first verdict against a manufacturer of cable used in a commercial setting in the history of asbestos exposure litigation in New York. The jury awarded $3 million for Mr. Rosenberg’s pain and suffering and $1 million to Mrs. Rosenberg for loss of services and society. Mr. Rosenberg developed mesothelioma during his retirement while living in New Jersey. He died at the age of sixty-four.
The Casale case (Joseph and Dolores Casale, Index No. 104299/06), involved the asbestos exposure of Mr. Casale during his career as a steam fitter (also known as pipe fitter) in New York. At the time, steamfitters were unknowingly endangered with asbestos exposure in their workplace due to asbestos being used on equipment such as valves, steam trap and boilers. While still a teenager Mr. Casale worked at shipyards, including the Brooklyn Navy Yard, as a member of the Local 638 Union. Mr. Casale continued in the same union and worked in the steam fitter trade at job sites in New York City throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Mr. Casale later moved to Florida but his mesothelioma diagnosis was linked to his asbestos exposure which occurred in New York. Mr. Casale was exposed to asbestos from various products including valves and steam traps, from both internal asbestos components and asbestos insulation that was applied to the products.
The jury awarded a total of 5 million dollars in the Casale case: 1.5 million for Mr. Casale’s pain and suffering up to the date of the verdict; 1.5 million for Mr. Casale’s future pain and suffering; 1 million for Mrs. Casale’s loss of service and society up to the date of the verdict; and 1 million for Mrs. Casale’s future loss of service and society.
In the Casale case, the New York jury returned a verdict in favor of the Casales against a manufacturer of valves, as well as a manufacturer of steam traps. This represents the first verdicts involving valves and steam traps in the history of asbestos exposure litigation in New York, and is reportedly the first asbestos verdict in the nation involving the use of steam traps.
For more information, contact the Mesothelioma Lawyers at Williams Kherkher at 1.800.220.9341.