Galassi, et al v. A.W. Chesterton Company, et al

Case Summary

60-year-old Peter Galassi served as a civilian marine machinist and maintenance manager for the U.S. Navy from 1963-1980s. During his time aboard many U.S. Navy ships he was exposed daily for long hours to asbestos particles and dust resulting from his work on various asbestos-containing pumps, valves, flanges, gaskets, packing, and insulation in tight, unventilated areas. Mr. Galassi, a youthful looking man who enjoyed running, began experiencing symptoms of mesothelioma more than 20 years after leaving his work with the U.S. Navy. He died in July 2005, six months after diagnosis with pleural malignant mesothelioma.


September 22, 2009
$2,325,872 total award:
$261,372 economic damages;
$64,500 lost household services;
$2.0M non-economic damages
2% liability assigned to John Crane Inc.


Plaintiffs’ verdict in U.S. Navy case.
Despite the Taylor decision, which relieves manufacturers of duty to warn of asbestos hazard in subcomponent parts manufactured and supplied by third parties, jury ruled in Plaintiffs’ favor.
Plaintiffs’ were also able to overcome the sophisticated user doctrine in which the equipment manfuacturers argued the U.S. Navy’s sophistication and knowledge of asbestos hazards eliminated the defendants’ duties to warn about the dangerous condition of their products.

Case Information

Case No. CGC-04-436144
Galassi, et al v. A.W. Chesterton Company, et al.
Trial Length: Two Weeks Deliberation Length: 2.25 days


San Francisco County, Calif, Superior Court, Dept. 306
Hon. Gail Dekreon, presiding

Plaintiff’s Experts

Arnold Brody, Ph.D., cell biologist
Barry Horn, M.D., occupational medicine
Samuel Hammar, M.D., Pathologist

Defense Experts

Cdr. James Delaney (U.S. Navy, ret.), Navy expert

Plaintiff’s Counsel

Waters Kraus Paul
Brent Zadorozny (lead trial counsel) (LA)
Ingrid Evans (trial counsel) (San Fran.)
Benno Ashrafi (LA)

Defense Counsel

Defendant John Crane, Inc., Hassard Bonnington, LLP (San Fran.)
Robert Nelder (lead trial counsel), Barry Endick

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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