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HAMILTON v. GARLOCK

May 18, 2000

LINDA HAMILTON, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS EXECUTRIX OF THE ESTATE OF GEORGE HAMILTON, PLAINTIFF,
V.
GARLOCK, INC., A C AND S, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sweet, D.J.

OPINION

The defendant Atlas Turner, Inc. ("Atlas Turner") has moved pursuant to Rules 50 and 59, Fed.R.Civ.P., to set aside the verdict rendered against it or for a new trial. Plaintiff Linda Hamilton, individually and as executrix of the estate of George Hamilton ("Hamilton") seeks certain discovery and the entry of judgment. For the reasons set forth below, the motion of Atlas Turner is denied, and the motions of Hamilton are granted.

Prior Proceedings

This is the epilogue to a hard-fought litigation brought by Hamilton to recover damages against, among other defendants, Atlas Turner for his mesothelioma resulting from exposure to the asbestos products of defendants, including Atlas Turner. After a fourteen-day trial, the jury awarded damages of over $4 million for pain and suffering and for loss of parental care and guidance, and allocated fault as between the defendants. Judgment in the amount of $4,288,427.47 was entered on November 6, 1998.

Post trial the motion for dismissal by Atlas Turner was granted for lack of jurisdiction. Hamilton v. Garlock, Inc., 31 F. Supp.2d 351 (S.D.N.Y. 1998). On appeal by Hamilton, the Court of Appeals reversed that ruling, holding that Atlas Turner had waived its jurisdictional defense. Hamilton v. Atlas Turner, Inc., 197 F.3d 58 (2d Cir. 1999).

Atlas Turner has renewed its Rule 50 and 59 motions and Hamilton seeks judgment and discovery in and of enforcement of any judgment to be rendered. The motions were deemed fully submitted on March 22, 2000.

Discussion

I. The Verdict Will Not Be Set Aside

A. Standard Under Rule 50

B. The Evidence Of Exposure Was Sufficient

The evidence of exposure to an asbestos product manufactured by Atlas Turner was sufficient. In his depositions, Hamilton specifically named Atlas Turner as one of the manufacturers of the asbestos products to which he was exposed. (Tr. 371-377). Moreover, his shipmate, Cliff Mann, testified that he worked with Hamilton aboard the U.S.S. John W. Weeks and that they used bags of asbestos with the name "Atlas" on them. (Tr. 1096-1010, 1023-1030). Frank Ronsini ("Ronsini") identified Atlas Turner as the manufacturer of the insulating cement used aboard the U.S.S. John W. Weeks. (Tr. 355-359). The evidence at trial established that Atlas Turner manufactured and sold three out of these four types of asbestos products — the pipe covering, block and cement, and its answers to interrogatories described its asbestos pipe covering block and cement products as "High Temperature Insulation" used for "Pipe and Boiler Insulation."

II. A New Trial Is Not ...


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