Asbestos cancer litigation law firm Worthington & Caron, P.C. today
announced a verdict in favor of their client, Janet Voelker in the case
of her 65-year-old former Navy firefighter and boiler tender who died
of mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos.
John Crane Inc. will have to pay $1.42 million to the family of a U.S.
Navy veteran who died from mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure. A
jury in New York awarded the wrongful death verdict after finding that
John Crane exposed the veteran to products that contained asbestos.
The case was first filed in Erie City, New York in September of 2013 but
unfortunately, Willliam Voelker passed away soon after in December. After
his passing, his wife Janet filed a wrongful death action in Erie City.
Prior to his death, William testified that while in the Navy from 1967
to 1971 he was exposed to John-Crane gaskets and packing material.
The original case (Erie County case # 801886/2013) was filed by Worthington
& Caron and co-counsel Simon, Greenstone, Panatier & Bartlett
(SGPB). Over 50 defendants were named in the case. Settlements were reached
with a number of defendants prior to trial.
At the trial, the Voelker family was represented by lead trial attorney
Jay Stuemke of SGPB and attorney John Comerford of Lipsitz & Ponterio,
LLC, in Buffalo.
John-Crane, the sole remaining defendant at trial, attempted to argue that
Mr. Voelker's exposure to their products did not cause his mesothelioma
but was a result of his exposure from other companies. The plaintiff’s
attorney was able to present evidence showing John Crane knew about the
dangers of asbestos as early as the 1940s, yet they not only continued
using it, but also deliberately concealed those dangers.
The jury ultimately assessed blame on John-Crane for its role in exposing
Mr. Voelker to its dangerous products.
Prior to his diagnosis, William Voelker was an very happy and engaging
man. His positive attitude and laugh were addicting. He and Janet were
very active in their church, hosting a weekly Conversation Caffé
where church members meet and talk about their faith and life. He also
delivered 100 lunches to the poor and homeless once every other month.
He passed away while sitting in his easy chair on Christmas morning watching
his grandchildren open their Christmas presents. He was not afraid, stating
just a few weeks before how curious he was "to see what was on the
We wish all the best to the Voelker family and are proud to have represented
them and assisted them through this troubling time.