Bethlehem Steel Shipyard Worker Awarded $15.3M in Mesothelioma Lawsuit
February 4, 2008
A Baltimore jury has awarded $15.3 million to a 73-year-old Halethorpe man whose terminal cancer was linked to asbestos exposure while working at Bethlehem Steel Corp.’s Key Highway ship repair facility, a South Baltimore shipyard, in the 1950s.
After a two-week trial before Judge Carol E. Smith, the six-person jury concluded that asbestos containing rope used by George J. Linkus Sr. at Bethlehem Steel Corp.’s Key Highway shipyard contributed to his mesothelioma diagnosis 50 years later.
Linkus worked at Bethlehem Steel Corp.’s Key Highway ship repair facility for seven years, between 1952 and 1959, as a ship and repair shop machinist. From 1954 to 1959, Linkus lined valves with rope that contained 60 percent to 70 percent asbestos, said one of Linkus’ attorneys.
Linkus’ lawsuit alleged that, when Linkus handled asbestos containing rope at the Bethlehem Steel Key Highway shipyard, visible asbestos dust was emitted into the air. According to testimony at trial, visible asbestos dust is an indication of high levels of asbestos exposure.
The defendant in the asbestos exposure lawsuit, John Crane Inc., did not contest Linkus’ mesothelioma, which is an incurable, terminal cancer affecting the lining of the lungs and is almost always caused by asbestos fiber inhalation. The defendant did, however, contest the allegation that the company’s rope contributed to Linkus’ mesothelioma.
At trial, Linkus’ attorneys said they called a “full panoply of experts,” including two pathologists, an industrial hygienist and a cell biologist. John Crane called a pulmonary doctor. After the trial was over, the jury took just over a half hour to return their verdict. The jury awarded Linkus $335,000 in past medical expenses and $15 million in pain and suffering damages.
Linkus, who first experienced symptoms of mesothelioma in 2004, was diagnosed with mesothelioma at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2005. Although life expectancy after a mesothelioma diagnosis is generally 12 to 18 months, Linkus remains in stable condition after three years and two chemotherapy cycles.
Shipyard Asbestos Exposure & Mesothelioma Attorneys
If you or a loved one worked at Bethlehem Steel Corp.’s Key Highway ship repair facility, or any other shipyard, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or any other serious medical condition caused by asbestos exposure, please contact us today as you may be entitled to compensation.