New York Shipyard Worker’s Family Gets $2.25 Million in Asbestos Suit

The family of a New York man who once worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard has been awarded $2.25 million by a New York City jury in compensation for his pain and suffering due to exposure to asbestos at his workplace.

Leonard Shafer, who worked at the shipyard in the 1950s, died at age 73 from malignant pleural mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs. There is no cure for this cancer and victims usually die within a year or two of diagnosis.

“Mr. Shafer endured pain and suffering that spanned an eighteen month time period from the time he was diagnosed until the time of the death,” said Carmen St. George, attorney for the Shafer family. “Many years ago, nobody knew the affects of being exposed to asbestos in the workplace and unfortunately today, we are being faced with the dangers.”

Because Shafer was unaware of the hazards of working with asbestos, he and his co-workers never wore protective gear, St. George explained.

A press release issued by the attorney notes that the defendant, John Crane Inc., manufactured and supplied an asbestos-containing stuffing-tube packing material to the U.S. Navy for use on its ships. In this asbestos exposure lawsuit, the jury determined that exposure to the John Crane packing material caused Mr. Shafer’s mesothelioma, and that his illness was “reasonably foreseeable to the company.”

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