Belluck & Fox $3.2 Million Verdict for Veteran Exposed to Asbestos Withstands Post-Trial Challenges

Posted on June 13, 2017

Just over a year ago, attorneys from Belluck & Fox, LLP, a New York Mesothelioma Law Firm, won a $3.2 million lawsuit for a U.S. Navy machinist mate who died from mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos from products used in connection with Jenkins Bros. valves. Jenkins Bros. challenged the verdict and fought the ruling, however, last month a NY supreme court judge rejected the defendant’s challenges and the award stands.

Read about the initial ruling in a May 24, 2016 press release.

During the initial case, Belluck and Fox attorneys argued that when Scott Shays was 17-years-old he served as a Machinist Mate Fireman Apprentice on the USS Plymouth Rock, LSD 29. During that time, from April – December 1976, he was exposed to asbestos from gaskets, packing, and external insulation used in connection with Jenkins Bros. valves. Decades later, at 55-years-old, Shays was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. He succumbed to the disease on April 20, 2016.

The $3.2 million award was for past “pain and suffering including the loss of the pleasures of life,” finding Jenkins 50% liable for acting with a reckless disregard for the safety of others. This case was the first verdict directly against Jenkins Bros. in an asbestos-related case.

According to a June 1 article from Harris Martin Publishing, after the verdict, Jenkins Bros. attorneys “asked the court to set aside the jury’s verdict and to have the court order a new trial on the issue of liability and recklessness,” claiming the jury instruction for ‘recklessness’ was faulty. In the ruling on May 12, the court noted that the defense did not raise any issue related to this during the trial.

Other issues raised by the defense were also rejected by the court, including the defense’s evidentiary challenges where the court said, “The Court once again adheres to its ruling at the time of trial. The defendant’s motion on this ground is denied in its entirety.”

“The court notes that even if some evidentiary rulings were in error, said error, if any was not so egregious as to mandate the setting aside of the jury’s verdict,” according to the Harris Martin article.

NY Supreme Court
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“The Court finds that substantial justice was achieved in this trial.”

“Our law firm, Belluck and Fox, is dedicated to representing mesothelioma victims across New York State and across the Country, ” Mr. Belluck said after the initial verdict. “We are especially proud to represent veterans such as Scott Shays. He was an American hero and served his country honorably. ”

The plaintiffs were represented by partners Joseph Belluck and Seth Dymond, and associate attorneys Brittany Russell and Rachel Lanier, all of Belluck & Fox.

In May, Belluck & Fox won an appeal upholding a $4 million asbestos lawsuit.

About Belluck & Fox

The New York mesothelioma law firm of Belluck & Fox, LLP, represents victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, as well as individuals with claims related to other mass torts, motorcycle crashes, lead paint and other serious injuries. The firm’s attorneys have won more than $800 million in compensation for clients and their families. The firm’s headquarters is located at 546 Fifth Avenue, Fourth Floor, New York, NY 10036 (local phone 212-681-1575). The firm also features New York offices in Clifton Park, Rochester and Woodstock. For more information, contact the firm through its online form or call 877-MESOTHELIOMA (877-637-6843).