• Philly Jury Awards $6.5 Million to Lung Cancer Plaintiff
  • June 9, 2016 | Author: Timothy D. Rau
  • Law Firm: Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C. - Philadelphia Office
  • William Roverano and his wife were awarded nearly $6.5 million in damages related to his diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer before Court of Common Pleas Judge Victor DiNubile in April 2016. In Roverano v. John Crane, et al., Phila CCP March 2013, No. 1123, the plaintiffs contended that he developed lung cancer as a result of his exposure to asbestos.

    Mr. Roverano, who was 66 at the time of trial, alleged he was exposed to asbestos from various defendants' products while employed at Philadelphia Electric Co. as a helper in the mobile carpentry gang from 1971-2001. He worked at a number of power plants and alleged he was exposed to asbestos from insulation, gaskets and packing on pipes, turbines, boilers and compressors. The plaintiff did not have any underlying markers of asbestos exposure in his lungs and did not have asbestosis.

    The plaintiff smoked one pack of cigarettes per day beginning in 1966 until 1997, when he quit. He had COPD as a result of his smoking, and the plaintiffs conceded that cigarette smoking was a cause of his lung cancer.

    In support of their claims, the plaintiffs called Dr. Jonathan Gelfand, Dr. Arthur Frank and Stephen Compton as experts. The defendants remaining at trial were John Crane and Brand Insulation. The defendants called Dr. Alan Pope, Dr. Crapo, Fred Toca and Patrick Rafferty.

    The plaintiffs sought damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses totaling $128,530, and future lost earnings at a rate of $20,000 for the "several years" he planned to continue to work. Mrs. Roverano also sought damages for the loss of consortium as a result of Mr. Roverano's illness.

    The jury awarded Mr. Roverano $5,189,265 for his claims and Mrs. Roverano $1.25 million for her loss of consortium claim. The trial judge ruled that the Pennsylvania "Fair Share" Act did not apply to the case, and the jury was asked to allocate liability amongst the defendants, settled and non-settled. The jury found eight defendants liable for the award. The jury was not permitted to consider liability against any non-party, bankrupt entities.

    The plaintiffs were represented at trial by Mike Cancelliere and Casey Coburn of Nass, Cancelliere and Brenner.