Company defends use of asbestos in products

In a recent post, we discussed the tragic death of a Navy ship worker who died from mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos on the job. Although the man had already passed away, the jury in the case was able to view his stirring video testimony that had been recorded prior to his death. You can read more about that video here.

The same jury recently heard testimony from a representative of the company who manufactured the asbestos-containing products. His statements illustrate just how aggressively some companies will deny having any responsibility for asbestos exposure. This case can give our North Carolina readers some valuable insight into the common challenges that can come up during these types of trials.

The representative spoke on behalf of the company that produced and sold valves used on Navy ships. And despite learning that there were considerable hazards associated with asbestos as far back as the 1970s, the company continued to sell asbestos-containing valves until the 1990s. However, the spokesperson denied that they made gaskets and packing products containing asbestos, which were also mentioned in the victim’s testimony.

According to the company representative, they did not make the gaskets and packing that were used on the Navy ships. They did, however, use them in their valves. He noted a number of details in the design of the valves to support his argument that the asbestos products were either not necessary in their products or were not an actual part of the valves they made.

Further, the representative claimed that their company was only following the orders of the Navy. Based on those strict requirements and standards, the company built and sold products that met these guidelines. When he wasked if their products came with warnings, the representative stated that they did not believe their products were dangerous and therefore, they saw no reason to put warnings on them.

These are just a few of the technical details that are being disputed in this case. It can be very confusing and overwhelming for people who are not familiar with this area of law to understand, which may cause people to shy away from taking legal action. However, that is why so many victims choose to work with an attorney throughout this process. Legal support can provide critical knowledge and resources geared toward helping victims get the compensation for which they may be eligible.

Source: Legal Newsline, “Crane Co. representative claims products were safe during Madison County asbestos trial,” Heather Isringhausen Gvillo, Feb. 28, 2014