Hamilton County Jury Returns $1.4 Million Verdict In Asbestos Case

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Hamilton County jury on Monday afternoon returned a record $1.4 million verdict against National Service Industries, doing business as North Brothers.

The trial was believed to be only the second asbestos trial in the state of Tennessee in the last 15 years or so.

The verdict is believed to be the first asbestos verdict rendered against North Brothers in any state, attorneys said.

The case – officially titled Marian H. Jackson, individually and as surviving spouse of Kenneth W. Jackson v. Breeding Insulation Company, Inc. et al., Hamilton County Circuit Court, Division 1, case no. 07C936 – was tried over the course of seven days. The jury then deliberated for almost two days before reaching its unanimous decision.

All of the other defendants in the case except for North Brothers either settled with the plaintiff or else were dismissed prior to the trial.

Wayne Jackson worked as a pipefitter at Combustion Engineering in Chattanooga from 1952-1986. During that time he was repeatedly exposed to asbestos-containing products, some of which were manufactured or sold by North Brothers.

The jury found that North Brothers sold defective products to Combustion Engineering, that Mr. Jackson was exposed to North Brothers’ products, and that North Brothers’ products caused or contributed to Mr. Jackson’s development of mesothelioma (a rare form of cancer that is uniquely associated with asbestos exposure).

Among others, testifying on behalf of the plaintiffs during the trial were Jerrold Abraham, M.D. (a world renowned pathologist from SUNY), Richard Lemen, Ph.D. (an epidemiologist and former deputy director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), and Bruce Hutchinson, Ph.D. (a U.T.C. economist). The only witness who testified for North Brothers was William Dyson (an industrial hygienist).

Mrs. Jackson and the Jackson family were represented by attorney Jimmy Rodgers with the law firm of Summers & Wyatt in Chattanooga, along with attorneys Rett Guerry and Ben Cunningham from the Motley Rice law firm out of Charleston, S.C.

Mr. Rodgers said, “We are very appreciative of the service by the individual jurors, and that they took their time to consider the evidence. Our main regret is that the jury had no means to bring Mr. Jackson back to his wife and family.

“This verdict represents a milestone victory for asbestos victims – not only for Combustion retirees in the Chattanooga area, but also for all people exposed to asbestos throughout Tennessee and the Chattanooga metropolitan area as well. Hopefully this verdict wills send a signal to asbestos manufacturers and suppliers that the days of getting away with knowingly exposing Tennessee citizens and workers to poisonous and defective products is over.”

North Brothers was represented during the trial by attorneys Hugh Bright and Mike King from the Woolf McClane firm out of Knoxville.

This verdict is believed to be the first asbestos verdict rendered against a Woolf McClane client in Tennessee history, attorney Rodgers said.


Fleischmann Hits Passage Of "Democrats’ Tax Hike And Spending Spree Bill"

Brian Smith Joins City’s Parks And Outdoors Department As Communications And Marketing Director

Chatsworth Man Convicted Of Child Molestation


Rep. Chuck Fleischmann hit passage by House Democrats of a "partisan reconciliation bill that raises taxes on workers and job creators and spends hundreds of billions in new government spending." ... (click for more)

The city of Chattanooga on Friday announced that former WTCV NewsChannel 9 meteorologist Brian Smith will serve as the new communications and marketing director for Chattanooga Parks and Outdoors, ... (click for more)

Charles Baretta Hawk, 43, of 45 Johnson Road, Chatsworth, was convicted on Friday by a Whitfield County jury on one count of child molestation. Superior Court Judge Jim Wilbanks presided ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Fleischmann Hits Passage Of "Democrats’ Tax Hike And Spending Spree Bill"

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann hit passage by House Democrats of a "partisan reconciliation bill that raises taxes on workers and job creators and spends hundreds of billions in new government spending." He said, “For two years, the Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats have forced trillions in borrowing and spending, onerous new regulations, and big government overreach ... (click for more)

Brian Smith Joins City’s Parks And Outdoors Department As Communications And Marketing Director

The city of Chattanooga on Friday announced that former WTCV NewsChannel 9 meteorologist Brian Smith will serve as the new communications and marketing director for Chattanooga Parks and Outdoors, effective Friday. Working with Parks and Outdoors Administrator Scott Martin, Mr. Smith will help design a comprehensive and innovative communications strategy for the department to ... (click for more)

Opinion

Neighbors Unite To Express Concerns About New Apartment Complex

Response to: Neighbors to Planned 708-Unit Apartment Complex Register Their Disapproval Clarifying the Record As a member of the large group who gathered to express their concerns about the proposed 708-unit apartment complex, I am writing to express my appreciation for and pride in our community. Our community is primarily made up of small, diverse, and unorganized neighborhoods. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Freaks Of College Football

It has been almost 20 years since Bruce Feldman, a marvelous sportswriter for theathletic.com and Fox Sports, came up with the idea of identifying the “Freaks” of college football. Wait, being called a freak is a good thing, a very good thing, on a football team. It means you are so strong or so fast or so “athletic” that your own teammates and coaches stand in awe, be it in the ... (click for more)

Sports

WindStone Chosen As Host Site For 2022 National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Regional

Twelve golf facilities across the nation, including WindStone in Ringgold, Ga., have been named host sites for the 2022 National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Regionals taking place in September. Nearly 200 teams of junior golfers ages 10-17 will enjoy two days of competition. Through PGA Jr. League, kids ages 17 and under learn and play golf on co-ed teams, wear numbered jerseys ... (click for more)

UTC Football Fall Practice Preview

Palpable excitement filled the air this past Tuesday evening at Finley Stadium. As players in various states of undress poured out from a pair of school buses and into the locker room, equipment managers and assistant coaches scurried to set up equipment. The hits of Drake, Future, and other rap stars began to play from the stadium’s loudspeakers as players, now uniformly outfitted ... (click for more)