Former Navy Boiler Maker with Asbestosis Assessed Verdict Against Asbestos Corporation Ltd.
San Francisco, CA — October 16, 2009 — A San Francisco jury ruled in favor of Tommy Dye, a former Navy boiler maker from Othello, Washington, in his products liability case against Asbestos Corporation Limited ( ACL), a supplier of asbestos fibers used in the manufacture of packing, gasket, and insulation materials. The jury found defendant ACL liable and their asbestos fiber as a contributor to Mr. Dye's asbestosis and asbestos pleural disease, assessing a total of $209,000 in damages.
Tommy Dye served in the U.S. Navy from 1957 to 1976 as a boilermaker, achieving the rank of Chief Boiler Maker before retiring. Early in his career he was responsible for maintaining and operating the boilers and related equipment, including the removal of pipe insulation, repacking valves, servicing the insulation inside of in addition to operating the boilers. Mr. Dye performed these duties aboard the USS Salem from 1957–1959, the USS Wasp 1959–1961 and as a supervisor on the USS Turner Joy from 1961–1963. While his job duties evolved, he continued to serve aboard ships until 1972 when he began to develop lung problems. Doctors found a pleural effusion, and through exploratory surgery found additional pleural thickening and scaring. Mr. Dye finished his Navel career at the Engineering School in San Diego as an instructor in 1976.
At trial, plaintiffs presented evidence showing that when used as specified, products containing ACL asbestos fiber released respirable asbestos dust when disturbed or removed. Through the course of normal use of products containing ACL asbestos fiber, Mr. Dye was exposed to enough airborne asbestos to ultimately lead to his development of asbestosis.
Opening statements for the trial were delivered on September 30, 2009 and was presided over by the Honorable Judge Ronald Quidachay of the San Francisco Superior Court. Defendant ACL was represented at trial by Ginese Dopson and Mary Gambino of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP.