Crane Co. Appeals $4.8 Million Jury Award
By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ May 19, 2016
Crane Co. is appealing a jury’s decision to award the wives of two men – Thomas Amato and Frank Vinciguerra (deceased) – a $4.8 million settlement. The jury that made the decision concluded that Crane Co.’s asbestos-containing products offered inadequate warnings, making the products unreasonably dangerous (for the two men). Mr. Amato worked as a boilermaker from 1972 to 1980, and developed asbestos-related mesothelioma in 2012; Frank Vinciguerra died from malignant mesothelioma after installing and manufacturing Crane Co.-made asbestos-containing gaskets. Crane Co. is asking for a new jury to hear the case, arguing for a “failure-to-warn standard that is limited to particular risks that were either known or knowable by the application of scientific knowledge at the time of the distribution,” according to an article in Law360.
The Plaintiffs’ Argument
Plaintiffs’ attorneys in the case state that Crane made the decision to focus its case on offering evidence that being exposed to cranite – a gasket material – does not pose risk of disease, but did not build a case against the fact that the lack of warning created an unreasonable danger – an entirely new issue on which the company is now basing its appeal.
Plaintiffs further argued that the high court should dismiss the company’s appeal based on the two standards for proving whether or not a product is unreasonably dangerous, which are risk and utility and consumer expectations. As the plaintiffs explained, the men (who developed mesothelioma after exposure to the products) had “an expectation that exposure to the products” that they worked with would not caused them to “develop a fatal cancer.”
The Defense’s Claim
The defense is urging the higher court to consider the precedent set in Tincher v. Omega Flex Inc., which gave defendants in the case the right to jury trial, allowing the jury to offer their opinion on whether or not a product was unreasonably dangerous, and that this should apply to cases where plaintiffs state they received inadequate warnings (as is the crux of the issue in the current case). However, the wives of the two men argue that the court’s instruction did indeed allow the jury to determine whether or not the unreasonably dangerous criteria was satisfied, negating the need for another trial.
Liability in Asbestos-Related Mesothelioma Cases
Understanding liability – and proving it – in asbestos-related mesothelioma cases can be extremely challenging to do, and you can be sure that the defense will have highly skilled lawyers on its side. If you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma that you believe was the result of exposure to asbestos during working years, the attorneys at the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. want to meet with you. We have recovered millions of dollars for our mesothelioma victims and others, and can guide you through everything you need to know about product liability and your rights under the law. If you have questions or think that you may have a case, fill out our online form or contact our experienced Pennsylvania and New Jersey mesothelioma attorneys directly at 866-236-4230.