There was a $5 million verdict on Friday in a Jones County silica trial with 10% fault assigned to the defendant. Here is the Harris Martin article on the verdict:
ELLISVILLE, Miss. –– A Mississippi jury has awarded $5 million to a silica plaintiff, assessing 10 percent liability to American Optical, sources have confirmed to HarrisMartin. McGilberry v. Pangborn Corp., No. 2007-16-CV5 (Miss. Cir. Ct., Jones Cty., Dist. 1.).
The Mississippi First Judicial Circuit Court for Jones County jury reached the verdict on Friday, Aug. 6, sources said. Judge Billy Joe Landrum presided over the one-week trial, which ended after approximately four hours of jury deliberations.
The underlying claims were brought by John McGilberry, who claimed that his work as a jackhammer demolishing concrete exposed him to respirable silica. McGilberry also alleged that he was exposed to silica as a bystander while sandblasting for seven days in the 1970s.
As a result of this exposure, McGilberry claimed that he eventually developed pneumoconiosis.
American Optical, whose 1050 and 1010 disposable respirators were at issue in the case, was the lone remaining defendant at the time of the verdict. The company argued that the plaintiff had failed to properly identify their product; that the exposure history was insufficient to cause silicosis; and that in the plaintiff’s 30-year medical history, he was diagnosed and treated for sarcoidosis but silicosis was never mentioned.
Testifying on behalf of the plaintiff were Steven E. Haber, M.D., pulmonology; Vernon E. Rose, Dr.PH, industrial hygiene; Frank Giles, life care planner; and Charles Dennis, economist.
Testifying on behalf of American Optical were Robert M. Middleton, M.D., pulmonology; David R. Derr, M.D., radiology; Joseph Zdrok, corporate representative; and Dr. David Anderson, industrial hygiene.
Counsel for the plaintiff were R. Allen Smith Jr., Patrick Malouf and John T. Givens of Porter & Malouf in Jackson, Miss.
American Optical was represented by Walter T. Johnson and Michael O. Gwin of Watkins Eager in Jackson, Miss.
Sources are telling me that $2.5 million of the verdict was for non-economic damages. The defendant wants to reduce the non-economic damages under the cap to $1 million and then apply the 90% reduction due to the defendant being only 10% at fault. This would make the judgment $350,000 instead of $500,000.I do not know if that is the correct way to apply the cap. My guess is that it’s not.