New York Jury Awards $190 Million To Plaintiffs In 5 Asbestos Cases Consolidated For Trial

 NEW YORK — (Mealey’s) A New York County jury on July 23 awarded $190 million to plaintiffs in five asbestos cases consolidated for trial, sources told Mealey Publications (Santo Assenzio v. A.O. Smith Water Products, Robert Brunck v A.O. Smith Water Products, Paul Levy v. A.O. Smith Water Products, Cesar Serna v A.O. Smith Water Products, Raymond Vincent v. A.O. Smith Water Products, Nos.190008/12, 190026/12, 190200/12, 190183/12, 190184/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.). 

Plaintiffs filed 15 separate cases in the New York County Supreme Court, alleging exposure to asbestos.  The plaintiffs eventually moved for consolidated trial. 

Consolidation Order 

In April, Justice Joan Madden granted the order in part, allowing the cases to proceed in three trial groups.  The first group included claims brought by or on behalf of Santo Assenzio, Robert Brunck, Paul Levy, Cesar Serna and Raymond Vincent, all of which proceeded to trial. 

According to the April order, Assenzio and Levy allege exposure as plumbers, Brunck and Vincent as steamfitters and Serna as a painter and laborer.  All five allege exposure to insulation and gaskets, while four allege exposure to pumps, valves and gaskets and three allege exposure to pipe covering, Justice Madden said. 

All claimed to have developed mesothelioma, and Justice Madden noted that the defendants challenged only Levy’s diagnosis. 

Breakdown 

The jury awarded Assenzio $30 million, Brunck $20 million, Levy $60 million, Serna $60 million and Vincent $20 million, according to sources. 

The jury held Cleaver Brooks LLC 28 percent liable for Assenzio’s injuries, 15 percent liable for Brunck’s injuries, 24.9 percent liable for Levy’s injuries and 21 percent liable for Vincent’s injuries.  The jury held Burnham LLC 25 percent liable for Brunck’s injuries, 55 percent liable for Serna’s injuries and 21 percent liable for Vincent’s injuries. 

Danny Kraft Jr., Ambre Brandis, Frank Ortiz of Weitz & Luxenberg in New York represent the plaintiffs.  Scott Emery of Lynch, Daskal & Emery in New York represents the defendants. 

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