Seattle Jury Delivers Verdict in Favor of Paper Mill Worker with Asbestosis

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A Seattle jury delivered a $242,500 verdict in favor of Ernest Coulter, a 75Â?year old Port Hadlock paper mill worker with asbestosis, and his wife, LeRose.

A Seattle jury delivered a $242,500 verdict in favor of Ernest Coulter, a 75–year old Port Hadlock paper mill worker with asbestosis, and his wife, LeRose (Ernest Coulter and Lerose Coulter v. ACandS, Inc. et al., 2005, Case No. 01–2–34675–0SEA, King County Superior Court, WA). Caused by exposure to asbestos, asbestosis is an illness that scars and damages the lungs. Mr. Coulter was diagnosed with the disease in June 2000.

Mr. Coulter worked at the paper mill of Crown Zellerbach, also known as Port Townsend Paper Co., in Port Townsend, WA from 1946 through 1992. During this time, he was exposed to various asbestos dryer felts. Among his many duties, Mr. Coulter assisted with the changing of dryer felts on paper machines.

Asten Johnson manufactured and distributed asbestos–containing dryer felts, which were used inside large paper machines during the paper–making process. The dryer felts were made from woven asbestos yarn. Today, dryer felts are made with new synthetic yarns and fabrics, rather than with asbestos yarn. Huge rolls of felts are run through paper machines daily.

Dryer felt machine records showed that Port Townsend Paper used Asten asbestos dryer felts during the years that Mr. Coulter worked there. Mr. Coulter’s counsel showed that the felts contained asbestos, and that Mr. Coulter’s work with the felts was a substantial factor in causing his asbestosis. The jury rejected the defendant’s claims that the felts did not release asbestos into the air, that they did not degrade, and that any released asbestos was washed away.

Mr. Coulter was represented by Gilbert L. Purcell of the Novato, California office of Brayton Purcell, and by Zachary Herschensohn of the law firm’s Portland, Oregon office.

About Brayton Purcell

For over 20 years, Brayton Purcell has helped clients protect their legal rights in the face of devastating losses such as illness, injuries, and harm to family members. The law firm enjoys a national reputation for the high quality of its personal injury and product liability work, particularly in the area of mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other asbestos-related diseases.

For more information, call 415-898-1555 or visit our firm web site at http://www.braytonlaw.com. For legal, legislative and medical news about asbestosis and mesothelioma, see our specialty web sites, Asbestos Network at http://www.asbestosnetwork.com and Mesothelioma Network at http://www.mesotheliomasite.com

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Gilbert Purcell
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