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Mesothelioma victim wins $5.13M jury verdict.

Byline: Bill Cresenzo

The widow of a man who died of mesothelioma in 2015 has won a $5.13 million verdict in Anderson County, his attorney reported.

Tommy Glenn was an instrument technician at five separate Duke Energy facilities beginning in the 1970s and through the 2000s, where he worked on and around various valves, pumps, and other industrial equipment, said attorney Theile McVey of Kassel McVey in Columbia.

Two of the defendants, Fisher Controls and Crosby Valves, are valve manufacturers and sold valves with gaskets and packing that contained asbestos, McVey said. When the valves had to be serviced in the plants, the gaskets and packing had to be removed and replaced, she said.

The gaskets typically got stuck to rims and had to be taken off with either a scraper, wire brush or a power grinder. The lawsuit claimed that exposure to these products containing asbestos was a substantial factor in causing Glenn's mesothelioma.

"Mesothelioma is a fatal cancer, almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos," McVey said.

Since the gaskets are made up of about 85 percent asbestos, the removal of the gaskets caused a substantial health hazard to Glenn and to those who are working around him, McVey said. This was "known and foreseeable" to the valve manufacturers like Fisher and Crosby long before Glenn ever worked with their products, she said.

The jury found that Fisher was negligent and breached a warranty. The jury found that Crosby was not liable. The other defendant, Carboline Company made paint and coating for use in the pants which contained asbestos, McVey said. The jury also found Carboline not liable.

Judge Jean Toal, the former chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court, presided over the trial.

Glenn was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December of 2014 and died two months later before he could give his deposition. Two co-workers testified on his behalf, saying that he worked around the Fisher valves on a regular basis over decades. One co-worker testified that Glenn spent months over the course of a year grinding and drilling off this coating, causing exposure.

The defendants argued that the chrysotile asbestos in their products was not the dangerous type of asbestos, but instead was safe. But it also argued that Duke should have warned its employers about the dangers of asbestos.

"We are incredibly thankful to the jury for their hard work," McVey said.

Jessica Dean, also of Kassel McVey in Columbia and Jonathan Holder and Ben Adams of Dean Omar Branham + Shirley in Dallas, Texas, also represented the widow.

Attorneys for the defendants could not be reached for comment on the verdict.

Follow Bill Cresenzo on Twitter @bcresenzosclw

VERDICT REPORT -- ASBESTOS LITIGATION

Amount: $5.13 million

Injuries alleged: Death

Case name: Rita Joyce Glenn, Individually and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Thomas Harold Glenn v. Fisher Controls, Crosby Valves and Carboline Company,

Court: Anderson County Circuit Court

Case No.: 2015-CP-04-01607

Judge: Jean Toal

Date of verdict: Jan. 22

Attorneys for plaintiff: Theile McVey and Jessica Dean of Kassel McVey in Columbia and Jonathan Holder and Ben Adams of Dean Omar Branham + Shirley in Dallas, Texas

Attorneys for defendants: Tim Bouch and Yancey McLeod of Bouch McLeod in Charleston for Fisher Controls and Crosby Valves; Robert Meriwether and Jase Glenn of Nelson and Mullins for Carboline

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Title Annotation:Glenn v. Fisher Controls, Anderson County Circuit Court, South Carolina
Author:Cresenzo, Bill
Publication:South Carolina Lawyers Weekly
Date:Feb 13, 2019
Words:561
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