Cancer victims win $190 million in asbestos case — the ‘largest ever’ judgment of its kind in New York City
- By JULIA MARSH
- Last Updated: 5:13 PM, July 24, 2013
- Posted: 5:12 PM, July 24, 2013
Unfortunately, only two of the five plaintiffs lived to see their victory. The three other tradesmen died from mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
The law firm that represented the men, Weitz & Luxenberg, says the judgment is the largest ever of its type in New York City.
After an 11-week trial, a Manhattan Supreme Court jury came to the verdict Tuesday, having found the national companies — Burnham and Cleaver-Brooks — acted with reckless disregard for human life.
The men toiled as steamfitters, plumbers and construction workers, but were not warned of the dangers related to the exposure to the deadly material.
“These tragedies shouldn’t have happened,” said their attorney, Daniel Kraft Jr. “I hope this verdict sends a message that corporations’ recklessness has a very real impact on people’s lives.”
One of the surviving victims, Paul Levy, of New Jersey, was exposed to asbestos while fitting pipes on aircraft carriers like the USS Constellation in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He and his wife Roslyn Levy won a $60 million portion of the verdict.
The same amount went to Cesar Serna of Howard Beach, Queens. Families of the three deceased workers—Robert Brunk, Santos Assenzio and Raymond Vincent — were awarded between $20 and $30 million.
Kraft’s firm gets 30 percent of the verdict as a fee.
Lawyers and reps for the companies did not return messages for comment.