$70,861,113.00 Verdict for Retired Machinist Mate & Nuclear Inspector

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An Alameda County jury assessed a verdict against John Crane Inc. awarding a total of $70,861,113 to Plaintiffs, Robert and Linda Whalen, who were represented by Brayton Purcell LLP. Robert has been battling pleural mesothelioma since 2013 as a result of his asbestos exposure.

On Thursday, October 30, 2014, after a six week trial and one day of deliberations, an Alameda County jury assessed a verdict against John Crane Inc., an asbestos packing and gasket manufacturer. According to court documents, the jury decided that John Crane, Inc. was negligent, that its asbestos-containing products were defective in design, and that it failed to warn. The twelve-person jury assessed $40 million in non-economic damages for Robert Whalen. The jury also assessed $30 Million dollars in Loss of Consortium Damages for Linda Whalen and $861,113 in economic damages (Robert and Linda Whalen v. John Crane Inc., Case No. RG14711964).

The jury learned that in December 2013, Mr. Whalen was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a debilitating and fatal cancer of the lining of the lung, and has been battling the disease ever since. From 1964 to 1990, Mr. Whalen served for twenty-six years in the U.S. Navy aboard nuclear submarines as a Machinists Mate and a Nuclear Inspector. Throughout his time in the service, he worked with asbestos-containing John Crane asbestos packing and gasket materials (Robert and Linda Whalen v. John Crane Inc., Case No. RG14711964).

At trial, plaintiffs presented evidence that John Crane knew by at least 1970, and should have known decades before, that asbestos was deadly, yet never tested their products for safety, never consulted the medical literature concerning the potential hazards of the products and failed to adequately warn users of the hazards associated with their asbestos products (Robert and Linda Whalen v. John Crane Inc., Case No. RG14711964).

The trial, which began in September 2014, was presided over by the Honorable Victoria Kolakowski, Alameda Superior Court. Associates Jennifer L. Alesio, Esq. and Heather-Ann Young, Esq., and senior trial partner Gilbert L Purcell, of Brayton Purcell LLP, were trial counsel for the Whalens. John Crane Inc. was represented at trial by Daniel Griffin, Esq. of O’Connell, Tivin, Miller & Burns, LLC and Robert Nelder, Esq. of Hassard Bonnington LLP (Robert and Linda Whalen v. John Crane Inc., Case No. RG14711964).

VERDICT REPORT

Case Information

Court:        
Alameda County Superior Court
Case No.:    
CGC 12-275116
Judge:        
Honorable Victoria Kolakowski
Trial Type:    
Jury of 12
Length:        
6 weeks
Parties:
Robert and Linda Whalen, Plaintiffs    

Verdict

Plaintiffs' Verdict:
October 30, 2014 ($70,861,113)
For:
Plaintiff s Robert and Linda Whalen
Against:
John Crane, Inc.
Economic Damages:
$861,113
Non-Economic Damages:
$40,000,000
Loss of Consortium (Linda Whalen):
$30,000,000
Total:
$70,861,113

Causes of Action:
Negligence
Products Liability- Design Defect
Product Liability - Failure to Warn

Trial Counsel

For Plaintiff:
Jennifer L. Alesio, Esq. and Heather-Ann Young, Esq. of Brayton Purcell LLP, Novato, California.
For John Crane, Inc.:
Daniel Griffin, Esq., O’Connell, Tivin, Miller & Burns, LLC and Robert Nelder, Esq. of Hassard Bonnington, LLP

Witnesses

Plaintiff:    
Dr. Richard Cohen (Occupational and Preventive Medicine)
Dr. Barry Horn (Pulmonary Pathology)
Dr. Alan Smith (Epidemiology)
Christopher DePasquale, CIH (Industrial Hygienist)
Dr. Steven Compton (Material Scientist)
Dr. Arnold Brody (Cellular Biology)
Mr. Robert Whalen (Plaintiff)
Mrs. Linda Whalen (Plaintiff)

Defendant:
Amy Madl (Toxicologist)
John Henshaw (Certified Industrial Hygienist)
Cmdr Delaney (Naval Expert)
James Crapo (Pulmonologist)

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Katie Nealon
Brayton Purcell LLP
+1 (415) 898-1555 Ext: 235
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