Florida Widow Lost Husband to Mesothelioma, Wins Ruling from Federal Magistrate

Share Article

Levy Konigsberg, LLP is one of the nation's premier law firms featuring highly acclaimed mesothelioma lawyers with decades of experience in the areas of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma law. Levy Konigsberg represents Plaintiff Shirley Shepherd.

A United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Rhode Island issued two rulings in favor of Shirley Shepherd a resident of Melbourne, Florida who lost her husband to mesothelioma (Case 1:12-cv-00143-L-LDA commenced by Plaintiff in Rhode Island Superior Court on or about January 26, 2012). According to Court documents, Roy Shepard, who moved to Florida in 1977, served in the United States Navy as a boilerman for over 13 years. Roy and Shirley were married for 35 years before Roy’s passing from mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure, in March 2012. Levy Konigsberg attorney Sharon J. Zinns represents Shirley Shepherd.

According to testimony given in the case, Roy Shepherd had a modest upbringing in Kentucky and Ohio, after which he served his country from 1964 to 1977 on the USS Hammerberg, the USS Fiske, the USS Farragut, the USS LY Spear, the USS Byrd, and the USS Dalhlgren. After his service, Mr. Shepherd moved to Melbourne, working the remainder of his career as a laborer in construction and in various restaurant positions.

According to Court documents, two defendants, Crane Co. and Foster Wheeler, LLC, manufactured and sold asbestos-containing pumps, valves, and boilers in the boilerrooms where Roy Shepherd served. These companies filed a motion seeking to be dismissed from the case arguing that maritime law protected them from liability for exposing Navy sailors such as Roy Shepherd to asbestos. They also argued that the law prevented Shirley Shepherd from recovering damages for the loss of her husband.

Magistrate Judge Lincoln Almond ruled against both Crane Co. and Foster Wheeler in separate opinions issued on May 13, 2015. In that written opinion, Magistrate Almond determined that a reasonable jury could find in favor of Roy and Shirley Shepherd on all issues. He also ruled that maritime law includes a claim for damages by a spouse, called loss of consortium. Although the rulings have been appealed to the District Court, these rulings mark the first time a Rhode Island Federal Court has ruled for a Plaintiff on these issues.

Florida mesothelioma lawyer Sharon J. Zinns wrote the briefs and argued the motions on behalf of Levy Konigsberg, along with co-counsel. After hearing the results of the motion, she said, “I am thrilled that Mrs. Shepherd is seeing justice on behalf of herself and Mr. Shepherd. We owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans, and the Court made a well-reasoned ruling to see that we honor Roy Shepherd’s sacrifice and hold these defendants accountable for exposing him and other sailors to asbestos.”

Levy Konigsberg, LLP is one of the nation's premier law firms featuring highly acclaimed mesothelioma lawyers with decades of experience in the areas of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma law. LK has litigated precedent-setting cases and obtained significant rulings and judgments, which have included some of the highest awards in mesothelioma, asbestos, and personal injury litigation.

Many individuals who are diagnosed with mesothelioma may have relocated to Florida after retiring and were exposed to asbestos outside of Florida. With offices in several different states, including New York, New Jersey, and Georgia, LK is best poised to assist asbestos victims wherever they live and were exposed to asbestos.

If you or your loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Please contact LK’s Florida mesothelioma lawyer Sharon J. Zinns at 1-800-MESO-LAW (1-800-637-6529) or submit an online request for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Corey Stern

Moshe Maimon
@LPKLaw
Follow >
Levy Konigsberg LLP
Like >
Follow us on
Visit website