In a case that will have echoes in the shipyards in North Carolina and elsewhere on the east coast, a jury in Arizona awarded $17 million to the family of a former civilian employee of the United States Navy who alleged that he suffered fatal asbestos exposure while he worked in the Norfolk Naval Yard in Virginia.
The decedent worked as a machinist in the shipyard from 1959 to 1966. His primary job was repairing and maintaining equipment on naval ships. His duties regularly included the removal of gaskets that were manufactured using asbestos fibers and repacking valve gaskets that contained asbestos fibers. The decedent and his wife had moved to Lake Havasu City after he retired from a 37-year career working for the Navy. The decedent died less than one year after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, an especially virulent form of lung cancer that is almost exclusively caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers.