$8.47M Verdict Scored for Asbestos in Newport News


Thursday, March 22, 2012

In February, a jury handed down a $9.18 million verdict to the family of John Bristow, a retired shipyard worker who died from mesothelioma. The plaintiff claimed that Bristow contracted mesothelioma from working with John Crane’s asbestos gaskets and packing in the 1960s.

On March 9, Judge David Pugh denied motions for a new trial and entered judgment for $8,477,906 against John Crane, according to a report from plaintiff’s attorney Robert R. Hatten (see page 6). This was a reduction of $705,000 from the jury verdict, in consideration of pre-trial settlements with co-defendants.

Prior to trial, John Crane had moved that the case be tried under Virginia law because part of the plaintiff’s exposure occurred in landside shops at the Newport News Shipyard. The court denied the motion because approximately 50 percent of the plaintiff’s asbestos exposure had occurred on the James River. Since exposure had occurred in both a maritime location as well as a landside location, the court permitted the jury to decide the case pursuant to maritime law and Virginia law.

Read the full Virginia Lawyers Weekly article.


THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT REQUIRE ALL ATTORNEYS TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT AND DISCLAIMER TO THEIR CASE RESULTS. SETTLEMENT AND VERDICT IN ALL CASES DEPEND ON VARIOUS FACTORS AND CIRCUMSTANCES, WHICH ARE UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. THEREFORE, PAST RESULTS IN CASES ARE NOT A GUARANTEE OR PREDICTION OF SIMILAR RESULTS IN FUTURE CASES WHICH PATTEN, WORNOM, HATTEN & DIAMONSTEIN AND ITS LAWYERS MAY UNDERTAKE.

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