Barlow v. American Standard, et. al.

Case Summary

62-year-old Gerald Barlow was a rigger, welder and pipe fitter who worked at the “Pier 32” San Diego naval repair facility during the 1960s and 1970s. Barlow was diagnosed with mesothelioma in April 2005 and died in March 2006. Via video deposition, Barlow testified that he frequently worked on and around Elliott forced-draft blowers and turbines while performing routine maintenance, and that the asbestos-containing components contained in Elliott’s products caused his mesothelioma. The defense argued that Barlow did not work around Elliott Products, and if he had, the Navy was responsible for his asbestos exposure. The jury found Elliott liable for Barlow’s illness due to defective product design, failure to warn, and negligence, and awarded Barlow’s widow $1.749M. The jury also found that Elliott acted with malice, but a confidential settlement was reached prior to the jury’s determination of punitive damages.


December 11, 2007
$1.749M award; case settled during punitive damages phase
$549.4k in economic damages
$1.2M for loss of consortium
Elliott Company assessed 40% liability


Thought to be the first liability verdict against Elliott Company in an asbestos case
Thought to be first punitive verdict against Elliott in an asbestos case
Plaintiff’s victory in a Navy asbestos exposure case

Case Information

Cause No. BC335153
Barlow v. American Standard, et. al.
Trial length: 4 weeks Deliberation: 2 days


Los Angeles County, Calif., Superior Court, Dept. 18
Hon. Helen I. Bendix, presiding

Plaintiff’s Experts (live testimony)

Samuel Hammar, M.D., cell biologist
Kenneth Cohen, C.I.H. (ret.), industrial hygienist
Capt. Frank Burger (U.S. Navy, ret.), Navy expert

Defense Experts (live testimony)

Capt. Richard Wasson (U.S. Navy, ret.), Navy expert
William Hughson, corporate industrial hygienist

Plaintiff’s Counsel

Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel, LLP (Los Angeles):
Thomas H. Hart III
Marc Willick
Kenneth Lee

Defense Counsel

Walsworth Franklin Bevins & McCall LLP (Orange County):
Thomas Scully
Eileen Spadoni
Sean Martin

Disclaimer: Results obtained depend on the facts of each case. Award amounts are not actual cash amounts received by plaintiffs. Deductions are made for liens, attorney fees and expenses.

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