• Mesothelioma Victim Receives $7.55M Verdict
  • October 24, 2017
  • BOSTON – A Boston jury handed down a verdict of $7.55 million dollars to a power plant worker and his wife against New England Insulation (NEI), which sold, distributed, ripped out, and installed asbestos insulation material until the early 1970s. Gerald Sylvestre, who was a former worker who oversaw equipment for a New Hampshire power plant, was exposed to asbestos by NEI workers performing asbestos insulation work at the power plant. As a result, Mr. Sylvestre was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer, in 2015. He is currently undergoing treatment. The case is Civil Action No. 15-7031; Gerald and Marjorie Sylvestre v. New England Insulation Company; Middlesex County Superior Court, Common Wealth of Massachusetts.

    “The jury’s verdict is a rare bit of good news for the Sylvestre family, given the suffering the family has endured,” said Gary Paul, a Waters Kraus & Paul partner, who served as lead trial counsel. “The jury placed blame squarely where it belongs – with NEI, who had long-standing knowledge of the dangers of asbestos and selfishly chose profitability over people’s lives.”

    Mr. Sylvestre was diagnosed with mesothelioma two years ago, but enjoyed good health prior to his diagnosis. He has endured multiple surgeries and chemotherapy to diagnose and treat his mesothelioma, commenting that “It was an extremely difficult period.” Mr. Sylvestre can no longer go on his daily walks with the same stamina and he can no longer hunt. He used to enjoy snowshoeing, but can’t participate anymore because the cold is hard on his breathing. Mr. Sylvestre’s favorite pastime was traveling with his wife, but since the illness they are unable to travel in the same capacity.

    “No one should have to go through this illness, and I particularly hate the suffering it has caused my family, especially because it could have been prevented,” commented Mr. Sylvestre. “My wife and I were very happy with the verdict, but what meant the most was that we got to tell our story and the jury heard it and responded as they did.”

    Mr. Sylvestre continues to treat his mesothelioma, but he and his wife are very fearful – they know his future is grim. People diagnosed with mesothelioma have a life expectancy of six to 18 months from diagnosis.

    Mr. and Mrs. Sylvestre are represented by Waters Kraus & Paul of Los Angeles and co-counsel the Thornton Law Firm of Boston.