Widow of Oil Field Consultant Awarded $1.2M in Asbestos-Exposure Case
First known drilling mud additive verdict in Texas; Montello, Inc. and Union Carbide Each Found 15% Liable
TEXAS – October 7, 2009 – A Brazoria County jury has awarded the widow of Danny Puckett, an industrial engineer and oil field consultant, $1.2 million for asbestos exposure from 1975 to 1980 that lead to his malignant mesothelioma – a terminal illness that often claims its victims within 12 to 18 months of diagnosis.
The verdict, handed down on Monday, October 5, 2009, represents the first known asbestos drilling mud additive verdict in Texas. Montello, Inc. and union Carbide – the only remaining defendants at trial – were each assessed 15-percent liability of the $1.2 million award for causing Mr. Puckett’s mesothelioma. Oklahoma law was applied to this case.
Mr. Puckett graduated from Oklahoma State University Tech with a degree in Industrial Engineering. In 1975 until 1985, he worked for Dowell Company as a member of the cement crew. Mr. Puckett eventually worked his way up to supervisor.
Mr. Puckett testified to breathing dust from the dumping of asbestos-containing cement additives into a mixing hopper at the bulk cement facility while working for Dowell Company. He used asbestos mud additives three to four time per week at a minimum for four to five years, and described a “continuous smokestack” of dust, to the point that one could not see a street light.
Mr. Puckett started his own oil field consulting practice in the late 1990s and had planned on continuing to work well into his 60s. He was diagnosd with malignant mesothelioma in October 2008. He fought the disease for six months. Mr. Puckett leaves behind his wife of 23 years. He was 59-years-old.
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Waters & Kraus, LLP is a nationally recognized plaintiffs’ firm concentrating on complex product liability and personal injury/wrongful death cases, particularly asbestos-mesothelioma. In addition to toxic tort litigation, the firm’s diverse practice includes pharmaceutical product liability, negligence, elder financial abuse, class actions, and consuer product liability, as well as qui tam (whistleblower) and commercial litigation. With offices in Texas, California, and Maryland, Waters & Kraus, LLP has litigated cases in jurisdictions across the United States on behalf of individuals from all 50 states, as well as foreign governments.