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$1.5 Million Asbestos Mesothelioma Verdict Against Fisher Controls International


This is a settlement for the Asbestos Mesothelioma lawsuit.

Marshalltown, Iowa & St. Louis: A $1.5 million settlement has been awarded to the estate of instrument repairman Ronald Drabczyk this week, resolving a lawsuit filed prompted by the death of Mr. Drabczyk at Hooker Chemical in Buffalo, New York. He was exposed to asbestos on the job.

The verdicts were rendered on October 19 and 20 in Erie County Court in Buffalo, New York.

Drabczyk died from mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Drabczyk repaired valves manufactured by Fisher Controls which contained asbestos gaskets and packing. The valves were sold by Fisher to the Hooker plant where Drabczyk overhauled them from 1970-1988. The evidence at trial demonstrated that Fisher was aware of the dangers of asbestos as early as 1946 but failed to place any warning on its products.

In addition to awarding Drabczyk`s estate $1.5 million in damages, the jury found that Fisher Controls acted negligently in failing to warn of the dangers associated with the valves. It found that Fisher Controls was responsible for five percent of the fault associated with his exposure and that the exposure to the valves was a substantial contributing factor in causing Drabczyk's mesothelioma. Further, the jury found that Fisher Controls acted with reckless disregard for the safety of Drabczyk. Under New York law, this finding of reckless disregard renders Fisher Controls responsible for the entire verdict, minus a set-off for prior settlements.

This is the first instance that Fisher Controls has been found liable for using asbestos in its products.

The jury also awarded $750,000 in punitive damages, finding that Fisher Controls acted with wanton and reckless manners toward Drabczyk and others. This is the first punitive damage award in an asbestos case in New York State in more than 20 years.

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Published on Oct-26-09

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