Asbestos tally mounts
Friday, September 25, 2009
A San Francisco County Superior Court jury awarded $2.3 million to the family of a man who worked for two decades as a marine machinist and maintenance manager for the U.S. Navy, and developed pleural malignant mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure aboard naval vessels.
Peter Galassi’s duties included maintaining, repairing and overhauling, pumps, valves and mechanical systems within steam propulsion systems. He was exposed to asbestos dust while working in tight, unventilated engine rooms, fire rooms, and pump rooms. He worked on several ships, including USS Higbee, USS Sanctuary, USS Richmond Turner, USS Ranger, USS Horne, USS Midway, and USS Enterprise.
Mr. Galassi, who died in 2005 at age 60, developed symptoms 20 years after leaving work at naval shipyards including Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco, and in Bremerton Naval Shipyard in Washington. He had spent his last years in Port Orchard, Wash.
He testified via video deposition that he would thoroughly clean flange surfaces of asbestos insulation by scraping or using a wire brush, then cutting the new asbestos gasket to fit.
The jury found John Crane Inc. partly liable for defective product design and failure to warn Mr. Galassi of dangers. The judgment, coming after a two-week trial, was awarded to Mr. Galassi’s widow and family.