Today a Baltimore jury returned a verdict of $9,985,000 against ATTRANSCO on behalf of LeRoy J. Conway, Jr. and his wife, Yolanda. Leroy’s father worked for ATTRANSCO beginning in the early 1960s through the 1970s as a merchant mariner in the engine rooms of ships with steam equipment and exposed his son to asbestos when he came home from work. Leroy’s claim was for his exposure in the 1970′s. Leory was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma when he was 44 years-old and underwent the removal of his lung shortly thereafter. Congratulations to my friends and co counsel Scott Frost, Demetrios Zacharapoulos, and George Tankard of Waters & Kraus on their well deserved victory.
After 5 weeks of trial against this no pay defendant, the jury returned a verdict of 1.5 million with a 5% share. Fisher was found reckless which means under NY law the defendant is responsible for the entire verdict. This was an extremely difficult case with a 71 year old deceased and widowed mesothelioma client – the plant he worked in had 17 tons of raw fiber shipped to it every year and pipe covering exposure.
The next day the jury awarded 750,000 in punitive damages.
Today a Brazoria County, Texas jury awarded Maxine Puckett, the widow of Danny Puckett, 1.2 million dollars in a trial involving defendants Union Carbide and Montello . The jury found each of the defendants 15% liable. Mr. Puckett died of mesothelioma at age 59.
Mr. Puckett was exposed to drilling mud additives containing Union Carbide asbestos. Union Carbide argued there was no exposure to its products.
Our friends Scott Frost and Greg Lisemby of Waters & Krause represented the plaintiff.
Mike Terry and Kevin Jordan represented Union Carbide.
As reported in http://chrisplacitella.com
In 1982 when Johns Manville declared bankruptcy, a significant percentage of the money used to fund the asbestos bankruptcy trust came from the Travelers Insurance Company. After that time, a number of plaintiffs began to sue Travelers directly alleging Travelers had acted wrongly in its own right by suppressing information concerning the dangers of asbestos and supporting its other insured’s efforts to assert improper and factually incorrect defenses. Thereafter Travelers sought protection from the bankruptcy court arguing that the plaintiffs direct claims against the giant insurance carrier should be enjoined because the Manville bankruptcy plan precluded such claims.
While in the bankruptcy court, the asbestos plaintiffs and Travelers settled thier claims for $400,000,000. Other parties challenged the ability of the bankruptcy court to approve and enforce the settlement which also would not allow any more direct action cases against Travelers.
In a relatively narrow opinion, Justice Souter ruled that the basis for challenges against the bankruptcy court’s jurisdiction should have been made long ago. According to the Court “Almost a quarter-century after the 1986 Orders were entered, the time to prune them is over.” The opinion is filled with extensive language concerning laws governing bankruptcy proceedings. This language may be important for companies and insurance carriers involved in bankruptcies resulting from the current economic crisis and will no doubt be carefully studied by the attorneys. The practical effect of the decision is that it will make it far more likely that the asbestos victims will get paid and hopefully in the not too distant future.
You can read the full opinion at http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/08pdf/08-295.pdf
See also for a video explaining some of the the information exchanged between Travelers and Manville as well as for other information known to the asbestos industry featured on this website at
The family of a Missouri man battled 4 companies in court over Robert Wagner’s death from mesothelioma. Eventually the jury found in the family’s favor. After 3 weeks of trial the jury found the companies Bondex and Conwed knew about that asbestos dangers but failed to warn.
While settlements with individual defendants are often confidential, the total settlement in a given case may not be. Accordingly, please see the attached listing of recent settlements and verdicts.
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