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BCH Represents Widow in Mesothelioma Case, Gets $11.5 Million Verdict

A Missouri state court jury has granted $11.5 million to the widow of a deceased Navy veteran, following her claims that his death resulted from asbestos exposure during his military service.

Our firm was proud to have represented Jeanette Poage, the widow of the Navy veteran who allegedly was exposed to asbestos during his time in the military. Poage’s husband passed away in 2013 from mesothelioma lung cancer.

Jeanette Poage alleged that he had been exposed to asbestos-containing products while serving as a machinist's mate in the Navy during the 1950s. The lawsuit claimed that the defendants had failed to adequately warn the public about the well-known risks associated with asbestos.

After a six-day trial, the jury, on July 2, ordered Stamford, Conn.-based Crane Co. to pay $1.5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. Prior to the trial, the other defendants in the case had reached settlements.

Mrs. Poage is represented by lead counsel Fletch Trammell of Trammell PC in Houston, and  Robert Cowan and Aaron Heckaman of BPB, also based in Houston. Ben Schmickle of SWMK Law in St. Louis, Mo., serves as co-counsel.

Mr. Heckaman stated, "The evidence showed that the defendants knew of the health risks of working with these products, but did not issue warnings about the dangers. Because the dangers were ignored, hard-working families like the Poages suffered terribly."

Mr. Trammell expressed appreciation for the jury's service and the impact of the verdict. He said, "Mrs. Poage and her legal team are grateful for the service of the jury and for the message they sent in this case. This verdict reminds us that companies marketing toxic products must issue warnings and precautions for the use of the products – or face the consequences."

The case, "Jeanette G. Poage, et al., vs. 3M Company, et al.," Cause No. 1322-CC00059, was heard in the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri.

The trial lasted two weeks. Robert Cowan and Aaron Heckaman represented Mrs. Poage as lead counsel. For more information, see the press release.

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