Haupt et al vs. A.W. Chesterton et al

Case Summary

66-year-old Earl Ogle Haupt III served as a machinist’s mate in the U.S. Navy from 1959-1980. During his time aboard the USS Essex, USS Intrepid, and USS Gurke, he was exposed approximately 8-10 hours per day, 5 days per week to asbestos particles and dust resulting from his work on various asbestos-containing pumps, valves, flanges, gaskets, packing, and insulation in tight, unventilated areas. He sharply recalled product types and brands, as well as the precise processes that his work entailed. He also recalled having no knowledge of the dangers of asbestos. As is common with mesothelioma, his symptoms appeared suddenly more than 25 years after his 1980 honorable discharge. He died in December 2006, six months after diagnosis with pleural malignant mesothelioma.


April 21, 2009
$1.45M total award: $450,861 in economic damages; $1.0M for loss of consortium
John Crane assessed 3% liability; Crane Co., 2%; Elliott Turbomachinery Co., Inc., 1%; all others, including U.S. Navy, 94%


Plaintiff’s verdict in U.S. Navy case and despite the Taylor decision, which relieves manufacturers of duty to warn of asbestos hazard in subcomponent parts manufactured and supplied by third parties.

Case Information

Cause No. BC 356536 Haupt et al vs. A.W. Chesterton et al
Trial length: 8 days Deliberation length: 2 days


Los Angeles County, Calif., Superior Court, Dept. 62
Hon. Michael L. Stern, presiding

Plaintiff’s Experts (live testimony)

Arnold Brody, Ph.D. cell biologist
Barry Horn, M.D., occupational medicine
CAPT Francis Burger (U.S. Navy, Ret.), Navy expert
David Fractor, Ph.D., economist

Defense Experts (live testimony)

CDR James Delany (U.S. Navy, Ret.), Navy expert
CAPT Charles Wasson (U.S. Navy, Ret.), Navy expert
ADM David Sargent (U.S. Navy, Ret.), Navy expert
ADM Roger Horne (U.S. Navy, Ret.), Navy expert
Dr. William Hughson, M.D., Pulmonologist
Charles Blake, Certified Industrial Hygienist

Plaintiff’s Counsel

Waters Kraus & Paul (LA): Brent J. Zadorozny (lead), Kenneth A. Lee

Defense Counsel

Crane Co. – K&L Gates: Clifton T. Hutchinson (Dallas), Grant Stiefel (LA)
Elliott Turbo – Walsworth, Franklin, Bevins & McCall (Orange Co): Anne Gritzer, Kevin Whelan
John Crane, Inc. – Hassard Bonnington, LP (San Fran): Edward Hartley, Nicole T. Roberts

Disclaimer – Results obtained depend on the facts of each case. Award amounts are not actual cash amounts received by plaintiffs. Deductions are made for liens, attorney fees and expenses.

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