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Case Style: Bell v. Dresser Industries, Inc. and North American Refractories, Inc.
Case Number: A-920, 961-SC17
Judge: Patrick Clark
Court: District Court, Orange County, Texas
Plaintiff's Attorney: John Werner, David W. Ferrell and Flen W. Morgan of Reaud, Morgan & Quinn, Beaumont, Texas and Karl Novak of Ness, Motley, Loadholt, Richardson & Poole, Barnhill, North Carolina
Defendant's Attorney: Donald E. Godwin and George R. Carlton of Goodwin & Carlton, Dallas, Texas and D. Ferguson McNiel III and Joseph S. Cohen of vinson & Elkins, Houston, Texas
Description: Products liability claims by five laborers and millwrights exposed to asbestos where they worked. The plaintiffs claimed that they developed asbestos related illnesses and diseases as a result of being exposed to products containing the mineral. The plaintiffs claimed that the products sold by the defendants were unreasonably dangerous and that defendants failed to warn of the dangers associated with use of and exposure to the products.
The defendant denied that they manufactured or sold the products that allegedly caused the harm claimed.
All of the men were diagnosed with asbestosis. Two had lung cancer and two had colon cancer. Two died before trial.
Outcome: The surviving plaintiffs were awarded $4 million each in compensatory damages, the estates of the two decedents $4 million each and the two widows $2 million each. The jury also returned a plaintiffs' verdict of $10 million each in punitive damages.
Plaintiff's Experts: Dr. Arnold Brody, Dr. Samuel Hammar, Dr. Edwin Holstein, Dr. William Longo and Dr. Jay Segarra
Defendant's Experts: Dr. Allan Feingold
Comments: Reported by Kent Morlan