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Mesothelioma Victim Awarded $25 Million Verdict

Newport News shipyardI would like to extend my congratulations to my close personal friends, Bobby Hatten, Hugh McCormick and Will Harty of Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein for their $25 million verdict against Exxon Mobil Corporation on behalf of former shipyard worker, Rubert “Bert” Minton, 72, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma after years of working for the oil giant, as a repair supervisor on commercial vessels at Newport News Shipbuilding between 1966 and 1977. Minton had previously worked there for seven years as a ship fitter in new construction, and regularly worked at the shipyard on Exxon commercial oil tankers that were then being repaired. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma that doctors said he got from breathing billions of asbestos fibers while at the yard.

In a recent article published by The Baltimore Sun, Bobby Hatten, Minton’s lead attorney, was quoted as saying, ‘the jury awarded Minton $12 million in mesothelioma compensatory damages, $12.5 million in punitive damages, and $430,961 in medical expenses, plus interest. That brings the total verdict to about $25 million.”

The article goes on to state, “Exxon got a good, old-fashioned horse whipping is what it is,” said Hatten, who was at Al Fresco’s restaurant Thursday afternoon celebrating with about 35 staffers and attorneys from his law firm, Patten, Wornom, Hatten and Diamonstein.

But the $25 million verdict will be automatically reduced to about $17.5 million, Hatten said. That’s because although the jury awarded $12.5 million in punitive damages, it was legally limited to the $5 million that Hatten had requested for that portion of the verdict.

They awarded two-and-a-half times what I asked for,” Hatten said, saying he had not previously seen punitive damages of more than $100,000 in an asbestos case. “That shows how upset they were at Exxon.

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