Asbestos pipe manufacturer held responsible for substantially contributing to local man’s mesothelioma and death.
TENNESSEE –– A Maury County jury has awarded $2.1 million to the widow of an industrial maintenance mechanic, finding that Bondstrand asbestos pipe and fittings manufactured by Ameron International Corporation (Ameron) were major factors causing James “Jimmy” W. Davis’ mesothelioma and subsequent death.
“This was a long, hard struggle,” said Gibbs Henderson, lead trial attorney and partner at Waters & Kraus, LLP in Dallas. “In the end, we were thrilled to get some justice for the Davis family. They missed out on many years with Jimmy due to Ameron’s conduct.”
Jimmy Davis spent a 34-year career working for Stauffer Chemical in Tennessee. From 1970 to 1978, Mr. Davis worked in the company’s organic plant maintenance department. During this time, he regularly worked with Bondstrand asbestos pipe and fittings manufactured by Ameron. Mr. Davis testified that on a weekly basis, he cut Bondstrand pipe and ground down the pipe and fittings for a secure fit creating large amounts of dust in the process.
Mr. Davis knew the products contained asbestos, but he did not know they were hazardous until 1973. Mr. Davis took precautions. He sometimes wore a paper mask and face shield and believed the face shield was all that was necessary for dusty conditions. Mr. Davis didn’t want to take anything home from the plant. Every day he changed out of his work coveralls leaving them there to be laundered and showered before heading home. And he always followed Stauffer’s safety rules for working with asbestos.
Mr. Davis lived an active lifestyle. Before his diagnosis, he walked three miles a day and spent a lot of boating. Because of the location of the mesothelioma in his right lung, the cancer was inoperable. Mr. Davis was diagnosed with mesothelioma in June 2016 and died a year and a half later. He leaves behind his wife of 53 years, three adult children and six grandchildren.
On September 19, 2019, the jury handed down a verdict of $2,071,216.21 in favor of plaintiffs Jimmy and Irene Davis. The Davises were awarded $121,216.21 for economic damages and $1,950,000.00 for non-economic damages. Mr. Davis was assigned 2% fault.
The jury assigned 13% liability to Ameron International Corporation making them responsible for $269,258.11 of the total award. The jury found Ameron’s products were defective and unreasonably dangerous and that the company had violated federal regulations in their manufacture and labeling of Bondstrand pipe, which were substantial causes of Mr. Davis’ mesothelioma. The jury agreed that Ameron should have foreseen Mr. Davis’ injuries and that Ameron’s products did indeed lead to Mr. Davis mesothelioma and death. The jury assigned the remaining 85% to the entities not represented at trial.
The Davis family is represented by Gibbs Henderson and David C. Humen of Waters & Kraus, LLP in Dallas, Texas along with co-counsel R. Holland Matthews of The Matthew Firm, PLLC in Columbia, Tennessee.
About Waters Kraus & Paul
Waters Kraus & Paul is a national plaintiffs’ law firm devoted to helping families in personal injury and wrongful death cases involving asbestos, benzene, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, birth defects caused by toxic chemical exposures and semiconductor chip manufacturing. The law firm also represents plaintiffs in qui tam whistleblower matters and cases involving false claims submitted to the government. Based in Dallas, Texas, with offices in California, Louisiana, and by appointment in Illinois, Waters Kraus & Paul has represented families from all fifty states and many foreign countries, as well as foreign governments.
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