A Maryland man who once spent seven years working in a shipyard was granted an award of $15.3 million by a Baltimore jury earlier this week.
According to an article in the Baltimore Sun, George J. Linkus worked at Key Highway Shipyard from 1952 to 1959. The 73-year old man was diagnosed with mesothelioma two years ago, said his lawyer David L. Palmer, and his only known link to asbestos is through his job at the shipyard.
According to Palmer, in 1954, Linkus assumed a position in the shipyard’s machine shop, where he performed various duties. As part of his job, he worked on lining valves using rope made by the defendant, John Crane Inc. The jury found that the rope used by Linkus contained asbestos, Palmer said.
The verdict in Linkus’ favor came after a three-week trial during which time the jury heard testimony about the thousands of shipyard workers who have, over the last few decades, developed asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis, pleural plaques, and deadly mesothelioma as a result of their work.
The rate of mesothelioma among individuals in various industries is highest for shipyard workers, who consistently worked with asbestos and asbestos-containing materials on the job, particularly during the peak shipbuilding years of World War II and the Korean Conflict.