NY Federal Jury Returns Verdict in the Case of McCormick v. Cleaver Brooks

Weitz and Luxenberg, P.C.NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. /CitizenWire/ — Mass tort and personal injury litigation firm Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C. today announced a successful verdict in the case of McCormick v. Cleaver Brooks et. al. (CV 04 2405, E.D. N.Y.), a suit filed on behalf of a client who died from asbestos-related cancer allegedly linked to the products of the defendant corporation, Cleaver Brooks.

A Federal jury delivered a unanimous verdict Friday, awarding 3.8 Million to plaintiff's estate.

Weitz & Luxenberg's Samuel Meirowitz, lead trial lawyer on the case, said the jury's verdict found Cleaver Brooks 60 percent responsible for the plaintiff's exposure to the asbestos boiler components that contributed to his development of cancer.

The firm's client died in 2005 from mesothelioma, an insidious form of cancer that occurs in the lining of the lungs. He had worked for decades as a boiler operator and repairman at McConnell Air Force base in Wichita, Kansas. He was 59.

It was contended at trial that some boilers produced by Cleaver Brooks in the middle of the last century used insulation, refractory cement, and other component parts that contained asbestos, a toxic mineral whose microscopic fibers can lead to lung cancer and mesothelioma when inhaled.

Cleaver Brooks, a boilermaker company with 1,000 employees, is headquartered in Georgia and has corporate offices in Georgia and Wisconsin.

The plaintiff's widow testified at trial to her late husband's struggle with a deadly disease whose only known cause is exposure to asbestos.

A coworker also testified to the plaintiff's dedication as a worker, as well as to their routine of boiler maintenance, which involved opening boiler doors, repairing asbestos-containing refractory cement, and other activities that inevitably caused the inhalation of asbestos dust.

The case represented a legal victory for the plaintiff, according to Meirowitz.

Cleaver Brooks argued that the Air Force (among others) was to blame for the plaintiff's injuries, but Meirowitz and his co-counsel were able to convince the federal jury that the majority of responsibility should be allocated to Cleaver Brooks since it had many opportunities to warn about the dangers of its products, yet failed to do so.

Meirowitz was assisted by Frank Ortiz, who manages Weitz & Luxenberg's asbestos team, and Kyle Shamberg, who sat second chair for the firm. Dan Blouin and John Richmond also aided with research about their client's exposure to Cleaver Brooks' products.

The case was tried before Hon. Jack Weinstein in the Eastern District of New York. Cleaver Brooks was represented by Suzanne M. Halbardier of Barry, McTiernan & Moore, LLC.

In spite of the positive verdict, Meirowitz said that such results are always thin solace for the families involved. "No amount of money can compensate for the suffering that our client endured. Mesothelioma is a tragic disease and no legal victory can make up for that. However, it is important that we continue to fight these cases. Providing financial relief for our clients' families is very important to us, as is holding responsible defendant corporations who negligently used carcinogens in their products for decades."

About Weitz & Luxenberg:

Founded in 1986 by attorneys Perry Weitz and Arthur Luxenberg, Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., today ranks among the nation's leading law firms. Weitz & Luxenberg's numerous litigation areas include: mesothelioma, defective medicine and devices, environmental pollutants, accidents, personal injury, and medical malpractice. Victims of accidents are invited to rely on Weitz & Luxenberg's more than 25 years of handling such cases – begin by contacting the firm's Client Relations department at 1-800-476-6070 or at and ask for a free legal consultation. More information: .

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