Fisher Controls International LLC was hit with a $5.1 million verdict by a South Carolina jury that found the company’s asbestos-containing valves were the cause of a deceased employee’s fatal mesothelioma.
Thomas Harold Glenn worked as a pipe fitter and instrumentation technician at various Duke Energy power plants, including three nuclear power plants, for 27 years from 1970 to 1997. As part of his job, Glenn would remove and inspect pumps and valves from pipelines, and often worked with gaskets that contained asbestos, as well as around others who were replacing valves made by Fisher.
In late 2014, Glenn was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. He died in February 2015 at the age of 69. His wife, Rita Glenn, filed her lawsuit in July 2015.
The jury’s award included $2 million in compensatory damages for Glenn’s injuries before his death and for his wrongful death; $1 million for Rita Glenn’s loss of consortium; and $2.1 million in punitive damages to Glenn’s estate.
Glenn’s lawsuit also named Crosby Valves LLC and Carboline Co., but the jury did not find them liable for the man’s death.
Asbestos is a strong mineral that is resistant to heat, which made it an ideal material to use in insulation products including those used to insulate pipes and valves. The use of asbestos was restricted in the 1980s. It had been known for decades by then that exposure to asbestos could cause serious illnesses, including mesothelioma.