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$25 Million Verdict Delivered in Mesothelioma Lawsuits Filed by Electricians

Two electricians diagnosed with mesothelioma after working with asbestos valves and gaskets on the job have been awarded a total of $25 million in damages.

A New York jury has awarded a combined $25 million verdict in two mesothelioma lawsuits filed against Crane Co., on behalf of Ivan Sweberg, 72, and Selwyn Hackshaw, who died last year at the age of 74. Both men worked as electricians and were diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer allegedly caused by exposure to Crane valves and gaskets that contained asbestos. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, and you believe asbestos exposure in the workplace to be the cause, our consumer advocates at the Leading Justice can help put you in touch with a qualified mesothelioma lawyer who has experience handling asbestos exposure claims.

Mesothelioma from Asbestos Exposure

The plaintiffs in the mesothelioma lawsuits alleged that Crane Co. knowingly exposed workers to asbestos on the job, without providing them with adequate warnings about the risks of asbestos exposure, or taking reasonable steps to protect them from harm. Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that is only known to be caused by exposure to asbestos dust or fibers, often occurring on the job in industries like auto manufacturing and shipbuilding. Unfortunately, because mesothelioma has a latency period of 30 to 50 years, most cases of the cancer are already at an advanced stage when they are diagnosed, resulting in a very short life-expectancy.

Other Defendants Settled Out of Court

Other defendants besides Crane Co. were originally included in the mesothelioma lawsuit, including General Electric, Bell & Gossett Co. and Garlock Sealing Technologies, but they all settled with the plaintiffs out of court. Following the trial in New York state court, in which Crane Co. was found to have acted recklessly in both situations, the jury awarded $15 million in damages to Sweberg and $10 million in damages to Hackshaw’s estate. However, because Crane Co. was only found 9% liable in Sweberg’s case, and 20% liable in Hackshaw’s, it is unclear how much of the award the company will actually be required to pay.

Secondary Exposure Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Mesothelioma litigation is the longest-running mass tort in the history of the United States, with more than 600,000 plaintiffs having filed asbestos exposure complaints against more than 6,000 defendants. In addition to mesothelioma claims filed on behalf of workers exposed to asbestos on the job, a growing number of secondary exposure mesothelioma lawsuits have been filed in recent years, with family members alleging that they developed the disease after breathing asbestos dust or fibers brought home on the clothing or in the hair of loved ones who worked directly with asbestos on the job.

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