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Weitz & Luxenberg – Jury Awards $190 Million in Historic Asbestos-Cancer Lawsuit

The national plaintiff’s law firm, known for its industry-leading asbestos litigation practice, secured a $190 million verdict Tuesday in the joint trial of five men exposed to asbestos on the job. The verdict is the largest ever of its type in New York.

New York, NY, July 24, 2013 --( Prominent mass tort and personal injury litigation firm Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C. today announced a verdict in a lawsuit brought by five men who were exposed to a deadly carcinogen when their jobs as steamfitters, plumbers, and construction workers brought them in contact with asbestos-tainted products and equipment.

A panel of New York Supreme Court jurors returned a verdict late Tuesday, finding that two defendant companies had acted negligently and recklessly, then rendering a verdict worth a total of $190 million.

The verdict is the largest consolidated asbestos verdict in New York history, and it is believed that the $60 million individual amounts two of the men received are the largest individual sums awarded in a New York asbestos case.

Weitz & Luxenberg’s trial team of Adam Cooper, Danny Kraft, Jr., and Daniel Blouin began the trial on May 10. Cooper said that the 11-week-long trial had involved countless hours of work and strategy on the part of the firm’s attorneys, as well as tremendous endurance on the part of its clients.

Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys Kyle Shamberg and Dan Horner contributed significantly to the verdict with legal briefing and research.

Blouin said he and his team tackled the case by telling the jury a story of five men who worked honest jobs for decades only to be repaid with immense suffering. “We wanted to show the jury the sorrow our clients were and are going through,” Blouin said. “And not just physically but psychologically. Once you are exposed to asbestos and develop mesothelioma, you know your fate. It’s an unbearably heavy burden.”

Kraft echoed the sentiment, calling the historically large verdict “more than fair.”

“I told the jury there wasn’t an amount they could give these men that would be unreasonable,” Kraft said. “The defendants in this case subjected thousands of men and women to a terribly toxic substance. It is likely these companies took a calculated risk in doing so. That isn’t a debt that can be repaid. Today I am pleased we were able to help our clients achieve a very good result, but I will always know that no monetary amount can restore their health and peace of mind.”

The jury, returning a verdict at 4 p.m. on Jul. 23, found both defendants – boiler companies Cleaver Brooks and Burnham – negligent in having failed to warn about the dangers of the asbestos used in connection with their equipment. The verdict said both companies had acted with reckless disregard for human life.

All five of Weitz & Luxenberg’s clients, Cooper said, were tradesmen from the tri-state area.

One man, from Toms River, NJ, worked in the 50s and 60s as a pipefitter in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He was exposed to asbestos daily while fitting pipes into the salt-water distilling units aboard aircraft carriers like the USS Constellation and USS Independence.

Another, from Oyster Bay, NY, worked for nearly 30 years as a plumber, handling dozens of different types of products contaminated with asbestos.

A third, of Middle Village, NY, was also exposed to asbestos working as a plumber in Brooklyn, Queens, and Rockland Co.

Another man, from Howard Beach, NY, was exposed to asbestos on the job as a painter and construction worker. He was involved with the removal and demolition of boilers containing asbestos-laden parts.

The final client, from Kent, Conn., also worked with boilers and boiler parts in the course of his job as a steamfitter.

All five men developed mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure. Three have died of complications related to the disease.

The trial (Index Nos. 190008/12, 190026/12, 190200/12, 190183/12, 190184/12) was held in New York Supreme Court before Judge Joan Madden.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer (the life expectancy for mesothelioma sufferers is among the lowest for any cancer) that attacks the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdominal organs. The cancer’s only known cause is asbestos.

About Weitz & Luxenberg
Founded in 1986 by attorneys Perry Weitz and Arthur Luxenberg, Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., today ranks among the nation’s leading law firms. Weitz & Luxenberg’s numerous litigation areas include: mesothelioma, defective medicine and devices, environmental pollutants, accidents, personal injury, and medical malpractice. Victims of accidents are invited to rely on Weitz & Luxenberg’s more than 25 years of handling such cases – begin by contacting the firm’s Client Relations department at 1-800-476-6070 or at and ask for a free legal consultation. For more information, visit Weitz & Luxenberg by clicking here.

Media Contact:
Weitz & Luxenberg P.C.
David Kufeld, 1-800-476-6070
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Weitz & Luxenberg
Dave Kufeld

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