MESOTHELIOMA LAWYERS FROM LEVY KONIGSBERG LLP OBTAIN THE NATION’S FIRST VERDICT OF $3.35 MILLION IN A TALC ASBESTOS CANCER LAWSUIT BROUGHT BY THE WIDOW OF A POTTERY ARTISAN FROM NEW JERSEY, WHO EARLIER DIED OF MESOTHELIOMA, AN ASBESTOS-CAUSED CANCER.
NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey, November 11, 2006 – Industrial talc, an open-pit-mined mineral used in ceramic, paint, and paper manufacturing contains lethal, cancer-causing asbestos fibers responsible for a pottery artisan’s fatal mesothelioma, a jury ruled today in the nation’s first mesothelioma compensation verdict connecting exposure to industrial talc with the asbestos-related cancer, the national trial law firm Levy Konigsberg LLP announced today.
More than $3.35 Million in compensatory damages were awarded by a Middlesex County Superior Court jury to a New Jersey widow whose husband operated pottery studios in Skillman, Lawrenceville, and Lambertville, NJ, before contracting mesothelioma, an agonizingly painful, always fatal disease.
After a four-week trial the four-woman, two-man jury rejected claims by R.T. Vanderbilt Company, Inc. (“Vanderbilt”) that talc from its New York State mines contained fibers that may have looked similar to, but were not a lethal form of asbestos, a position that the company has maintained for decades. Hammill & Gillespie, Inc., which sold the industrial talc, was also found liable.
In the next phase of the trial, punitive damages will be sought against the defendants. It is scheduled to begin November 28th before the Hon. Ann G. McCormick, according to Moshe Maimon, Esq., a mesothelioma lawyer and partner at Levy Konigsberg LLP representing the estate of pottery artisan Peter Stanley Hirsch.
An active outdoorsman who enjoyed rock climbing, mountain climbing, hiking, sailing and skiing prior to contracting mesothelioma, Hirsch attended Princeton High School before graduating from Harvard University in 1972 with a degree in Engineering and Applied Physics. Hirsch built the first pottery kiln at Harvard in 1970 as part of an extra-curricular program.
After three years of marketing for a high-tech Princeton-based company, Hirsch started “Rock Brook Pottery,” first in Lawrenceville, then in Skillman and finally at the Lace Works, on NJ Route 29 in Lambertville. After Hirsch closed the Lambertville studio in 1982, he worked in marketing and sales for three other Princeton-area high-tech firms, then as a self-employed organizational and marketing consultant until he was no longer able to work, according to court documents and testimony.
Hirsch’s exposure to asbestos-contaminated industrial talc occurred during the seven years he operated the pottery studios, personally mixing glazes containing Vanderbilt’s NYTAL® 100 talc purchased from Hammill & Gillespie, Inc., Livingston, New Jersey, among other sources.
Hirsch purchased NYTAL® 100 talc in 50-to-100-pound bags during this period. Each time he opened a bag of Vanderbilt talc, scooped or poured out contents, it generated very fine dust that was suspended in the air until it landed on the floor or Hirsch’s clothes, Maimon said.
“This first-ever US verdict finally – and decisively – proves that industrial talc from Vanderbilt’s New York State mines contains lethal asbestos fibers. New Jersey jurors have sent out a powerful, clear message to Vanderbilt and other companies that mine, mill or market industrial talc. Not only must their own workers be protected from lung disease, end users and others who come into contact with the product must be warned properly of the carcinogenic fibers lurking in this dusty powder used in so many manufacturing applications,” Maimon said. “Vanderbilt should immediately edit its web site and printed materials to eliminate its claim that New York State industrial talc is safe and has no carcinogenic effects,” Maimon added.
For over a quarter of a century, mesothelioma lawyers at Levy Konigsberg LLP have been among the pioneers of asbestos litigation in America. The firm’s attorneys have been recognized as nationwide leaders in representing the rights of mesothelioma victims and their families. Their clients have received some of the largest mesothelioma compensation verdicts in the country.
For more information about this or other mesothelioma lawsuits, please contact Levy Konigsberg LLP at 212-605-6200 or 1-800-MESO-LAW (800) 315-3806, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.