Segal McCambridge Shareholder Erich Gleber was part of a defense team that won a verdict on February 26, 2009 on behalf of client Flowserve after a 14-day asbestos trial. The plaintiff, a 36-year employee of Blandin Paper Mill in Minnesota, had alleged that asbestos gaskets and packing in Flowserve's pumps (as well as asbestos dryer felts made by Scapa Dryer Fabrics, the only other remaining defendant in the litigation) had caused his mesothelioma.
The defense countered that the disease had been caused by other insulation materials throughout the Blandin facility, and by the plaintiff's employer's failure to protect their employees from the materials.
After deliberating for a little over four hours, the jury decided that neither Flowserve's nor Scapa's products were defective by design or because of failure to warn. They assigned 70% of the cause to the employer. The remaining responsibility was assigned to the manufacturers of the other insulation materials found in the Blandin facility, i.e., Johns-Manville (20%) and Owens-Corning Fiberglass (10%). The jury awarded $5 million in damages; the plaintiff had sought $22 million.
Mr. Gleber second-chaired the Flowserve trial team, working with Stephen J. Foley and Christopher Goodman of the law firm of Foley & Mansfield. A team of lawyers from Hawkins & Parnell and Foley & Mansfield represented Scapa.
You may review the verdict form in the case here.