The family of a man who died from mesothelioma cancer after working in his local shipyards for 37 years have won their claim for fatal exposure to asbestos in a court in Virginia.
The widow of John Bristow and his two sons brought the claim for fatal exposure to asbestos against John Crane Inc. of Morton Grove, Illinois, after John died from mesothelioma cancer in 2011 aged 68. John had worked nearly all his life in the shipyards of Newport News – his home town and a major shipbuilding centre – with his greatest exposure to asbestos estimated as being during the 1960s and 1970s when he worked for John Crane Inc, manufacturing gaskets which were widely used in steam and exhaust systems, and which contained asbestos.
John´s widow, Anne, and his two sons alleged in their mesothelioma injury compensation claim that John Crane Inc were fully aware of the risks posed by working with asbestos, but chose not to inform their employees or provide them with any form of personal protective equipment. The defendant´s legal representatives denied the claims, saying that any one of a number of companies on the Newport News shipyards could have been releasing the asbestos fibres into the air which were inhaled by John and his colleagues.
However, after a three week trial and two day period of deliberation, a jury found in favour of John´s family and their claim for fatal exposure to asbestos. The seven-member jury awarded the family a total of 7.19 million dollars in consideration of the pain and suffering John and Anne had experienced during his final days, to compensate the two sons for the loss of a father and to account for the medical and funeral expenses incurred by the family.