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Freeman Gilbert died of mesothelioma at the age of 75. He worked with and around asbestos containing products in the pot rooms, the casting department and storerooms at the Alcoa Plant in Badin, North Carolina from 1946 to 1983. Shannon Gilbert, Mr. Gilbert’s son, brought his father’s wrongful death case against Defendant Alcoa, Inc., to trial in 1999. The case was tried based upon forum non conveniens because the injury was caused in North Carolina even though Freeman Gilbert lived in Texas when his case was originally filed. Under North Carolina law, an employee cannot sue his employer because of workers’ compensation. However, verdict was awarded to Mr. Gilbert’s case based on North Carolina’s “Woodson” claim. Which says that the Defendant intentionally engaged in conduct substantially certain to cause death or serious bodily injury to its employees. Additionally, the jury felt that the defendant was negligent, saying Alcoa was willful and wanton in their acts.
February 8, 1999
First latent disease verdict for a plaintiff under the Woodson claim.
Shannon Gilbert, Individually and as a representative of the estate of Freeman Gilbert v. Alcoa, Inc.
Cause No. 25743
Milam County, Texas, 20th Judicial District
Hon. Charles Lance, presiding
Dr. Victor Roggli, pathologist
Howard Cole, industrial hygienist, state of the art and OSHA regulations expert
Larry Birkner, industrial hygienist, state of the art
Waters Kraus & Paul, Dallas, Texas
C. Andrew Waters
Black and Connelly in Austin, Texas (Alcoa, Inc.)
Lebouf, Lamb, Greene and MacRaw, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Alcoa, Inc.)
William Conley, Ann Rice
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.
That’s the first question everyone asks. The truth is it’s impossible to know. But we can tell you this. Waters Kraus & Paul has what it takes to fight against big corporate interests and win. That’s why we’ve taken more mesothelioma trials to verdict than any other firm. And that’s why we’ve recovered more than $1.3 billion for clients like you. Do you think you have a case? Contact us now to speak with an attorney.