June 9, 1990 A Baltimore Circuit Court jury has
awarded 10 former and current shipyard workers $11.3 million after finding
that the workers' asbestos-related health problems were caused by negligence
on the part of two asbestos manufacturers.
The month-long trial, presided over by Judge John Carroll
Byrnes, ended Thursday with the jury's verdict against Celotex and the
Manville Corp. Disease Compensation Fund. The 10 men who brought the suit
against the asbestos manufacturers worked primarily at Bethlehem Steel
Corp.'s Sparrows Point shipyard, though they also worked at the company's
Key Highway and Fairfield shipyards.
Some of the men worked at the shipyards for more than 30 years,
from the 1940s to the 1970s. One of the men in the case still works at
All of the men alleged they contracted asbestosis, a scarring
of the lung tissue, because of their exposure to asbestos products.
According to court records, one of the men said he saw so
many boxes of Johns Manville asbestos products at the shipyards that the
company's name stuck in his mind. The jury deliberated two days before
deciding to award damages to each plaintiff that range from $360,000 to $2
Harold Adams was awarded $360,000, Stanley R. Ball was awarded
$420,000, Crockett Brewster was awarded $510,000, George Farmer was awarded
$540,000, Kenneth Perkins was awarded $690,000 and William Beeks was awarded
Hastings Campbell, Ronald Cox, George Foster and Ned Stanton
were awarded $2 million each.