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Local Firm Involved in $32 Million NY Verdict for Navy Veteran Exposed to Asbestos

Huntington Mesothelioma Attorney Timothy Eves Helps Secure $32 Million Verdict for KY Man in New York City Trial

A jury has determined that companies failed to warn a former U.S. Navy boiler tender about the dangers of the asbestos exposure that led to him developing mesothelioma.

A U.S. Navy veteran who developed incurable mesothelioma while working as a boiler tender aboard several ships has won a $32 million verdict against the companies he accused of recklessly failing to warn him about the dangers of his asbestos exposure.

After an eight-week trial in lower Manhattan before Judge Joan A. Madden, the jury returned the verdict on August 17 in the Supreme Court of New York, New York County, in the case of Ronald Dummitt and Doris Kay Dummitt v. A.W. Chesterton, et al. (No. 190196/10).

The amount awarded included $16 million for past pain and suffering and $16 million for future pain and suffering. Mr. Dummitt, who served as a fireman, boiler tender and was eventually appointed to be a Master Chief Petty Officer, is now 68 years old.

“Mr. Dummitt may not have been awarded a congressional medal of honor or a purple heart but I and all that have come to know him recognize that he is a true American hero. He dedicated a third of his life to the service of his country and rose through the ranks of the Navy, starting as a fireman, then boiler tender to eventually attain the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer,” said mesothelioma attorney Timothy Eves, of Eves Law Firm, PLLC in Huntington, West Virginia.

“Unfortunately, no man can give Ronald Dummitt’s health back to him, this verdict represents all that a just and civil society can do to redress the harm caused by culpable companies who fail to protect innocent workers whether on the job or in the line of duty,” according to Attorney Eves.

Although Mr. Dummitt served twenty-eight years in the Navy his asbestos exposure period occurred during the 18 years he spent aboard various ships. The jury determined that Mr. Dummitt developed pleural mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos while serving aboard seven U.S. Navy ships between 1960 and 1977. During that time, he worked in the boiler and fire rooms in each vessel.

The jury determined that Mr. Dummitt was exposed to asbestos while repairing Crane Co.-manufactured valves, which involved removing, and replacing asbestos-containing lagging pads, gaskets and packing on each of the ships. The jury also found that he was exposed to asbestos from others performing the same work on Crane valves.

Additionally, Mr. Dummitt became exposed to asbestos while working with Elliott Turbomachinery Co., Inc.-manufactured deareating feed tanks on one of the ships, the jury determined. This work included removing and replacing asbestos-containing lagging pads and manhole gaskets.

Asbestos is a mineral that has been linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma, an aggressive and deadly form of cancer which results from breathing in asbestos fibers that become lodged in the thin membrane that lines and encases the lungs.

Mr. Dummitt’s trial team consisted of attorneys from Eves Law Firm and the New York firm of Belluck and Fox. Mr. Eves gives great credit for the large verdict to his co-counsel Jordan Fox. In addition to Eves and Fox, the trial team included senior litigator James Long, partner Bryan Belasky and associates Seth Dymond and William Papain. Eves also credits his client Mr. Dummitt as well. Mr. Dummitt’s own testimony and recall were also critical elements of this case. At trial, Dummitt’s lawyers presented evidence from a series of experts regarding the causation of the plaintiff’s mesothelioma as well as testimony about the cancer’s impact on Mr. Dummitt. Testifying on behalf of the plaintiff were Dr. Jacqueline Moline, an expert in occupational medicine, Dr. Barry Castelman, a public health expert and Richard Hatfield, a materials analyst as well as his treating physician, Gerritt Kimmey, a well respected oncologist from Huntington, WV.

The jury in Mr. Dummitt’s case found that both Crane and Elliott had acted with a reckless disregard for the safety of others in failing to warn about the dangers of the asbestos exposure. The jury apportioned 99 percent responsibility to Crane, and 1 percent to Elliott.

The attorneys for defendant Crane Co. were Jeffrey S. King, Esq., and Tara Pehush, Esq., of K&L Gates, LLP. Defendant Elliott Turbomachinery was represented by Katharine S. Perry, Esq., of Adler, Pollock & Sheehan, P.C.