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32 Million Verdict For Navy Veteran Exposed To Asbestos

navy veteran asbestos exposure

A jury has determined that companies failed to warn a former U.S. Navy boiler tender about the dangers of the asbestos exposure that led to him developing mesothelioma.

New York, New York (PRWEB) August 17, 2011— A U.S. Navy veteran who developed incurable mesothelioma while working as a boiler tender aboard several ships has won a $32 million verdict against the companies he accused of recklessly failing to warn him about the dangers of his asbestos exposure, the nationally recognized New York law firm of Belluck & Fox, LLP announced today.

After a nine-week trial before Judge Joan Madden, the jury returned the verdict on August 17 in the Supreme Court of New York, New York County, in the case of Ronald Dummitt and Doris Kay Dummitt v. A.W. Chesterton, et al. (No. 190196/10).

The amount awarded included $16 million for past pain and suffering and $16 million for future pain and suffering. Mr. Dummitt, who served as a fireman, boiler tender and was eventually appointed to be a Master Chief Petty Officer, is now 68 years old.

“While no amount of money can restore Mr. Dummitt’s health, this verdict is just, and represents all that we can do to set things right. They identified the culprits and the degree to which they contributed to his fatal disease, and to that extent, the truth prevailed,” said New York mesothelioma attorney Jordan Fox, a founding partner of Belluck & Fox, LLP. “We are proud to have represented him.”

Fox led the Belluck & Fox, LLP trial team that worked on the case, which included senior litigator James Long, partner Brian Belasky and associates Seth Dymond and William Papain.

The jury determined that Mr. Dummitt developed pleural mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos while serving aboard seven U.S. Navy ships between 1960 and 1977. During that time, he worked in the boiler and fire rooms in each vessel.

The jury determined that Mr. Dummitt was exposed to asbestos while repairing Crane Co.-manufactured valves, which involved removing and replacing asbestos-containing lagging pads, gaskets and packing on each of the ships. The jury also found that he was exposed to asbestos from others performing the same work on Crane valves.

Additionally, Mr. Dummitt became exposed to asbestos while working with Elliott Turbomachinery Co., Inc.-manufactured deareating feed tanks on one of the ships, the jury determined. This work included removing and replacing asbestos-containing lagging pads and manhole gaskets.

asbestosAsbestos is a mineral that has been linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma, an aggressive and deadly form of cancer which results from breathing in asbestos fibers that become lodged in the thin membrane that lines and encases the lungs.

At trial, lawyers from Belluck & Fox, LLP presented evidence from a series of experts regarding the causation of the plaintiff’s mesothelioma as well as testimony about the cancer’s impact on Mr. Dummitt. Testifying on behalf of the plaintiff were Dr. Jacqueline Moline, an expert in occupational medicine, Dr. Barry Castelman, a public health expert and Richard Hatfield, a materials analyst.

The jury in Mr. Dummitt’s case found that both Crane and Elliott had acted with a reckless disregard for the safety of others in failing to warn about the dangers of the asbestos exposure. The jury apportioned 99 percent responsibility to Crane, and 1 percent to Elliott.

The attorneys for defendant Crane Co. were Jeffrey S. King, Esq., and Tara Pehush, Esq., of K&L Gates, LLP. Defendant Elliott Turbomachinery was represented by Katharine S. Perry, Esq., of Adler, Pollock & Sheehan, P.C. .

About Belluck & Fox, LLP

Belluck & Fox, LLP is a respected law firm in New York City that represents individuals with asbestos and mesothelioma claims, as well as victims of crime, motorcycle crashes, lead paint and other serious injuries. The firm provides personalized and professional representation and has won over $400 million in compensation for clients and their families.


Partner Joseph W. Belluck is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in Best Lawyers in America, New York Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in the New York Area” and in Super Lawyers. Mr. Belluck has won numerous cases involving injuries from asbestos, defective medical products, tobacco and lead paint, including a recent asbestos case that settled for more than $12 million.

Partner Jordan Fox is a well-known asbestos and mesothelioma attorney who has been named to the Best Lawyers in America, New York Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in the New York Area” and to Super Lawyers. On two separate occasions, his verdicts were featured as the National Law Journal’s Largest Verdict of the Year.

In September, Belluck & Fox, LLP won a coveted spot on a list of America’s best law firms, which was published jointly by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers magazine. The listing showcased 8,782 different law firms ranked in one or more of 81 major practice areas.

Click here for more information about types of asbestos and cause of mesothelioma, or contact the firm at 855-700-5072 or through the online contact form.

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