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Virginia Holds Decedent Seaman's Family Entitled to Pre-Death Pain and Suffering Under GML


In John Crane, Inc. v. Hardick, Record No. 101909 (Vir. Sept. 14, 2012), a decedent crewmember's wife and estate, filed suit under general maritime law against John Crane, Inc. (JCI) seeking compensatory and punitive damages, alleging that decedent, a former seaman, was exposed to asbestos contained in products manufactured by JCI and that he contracted mesothelioma as a result of such exposure. The Plaintiffs' third amended complaint included revived personal injury survival claims - which sought damages for Decedent's pre-death pain and suffering - and Plaintiffs' wrongful death claims. A jury awarded $2 million in damages for Decedent's pre-death pain and suffering. The Supreme Court vacated the award. The Plaintiffs petitioned for a rehearing, which the Court granted. The Court then reinstated the award and modified its opinion, holding that because the Jones Act permits recovery for the losses suffered during a decedent seaman's lifetime in a survival action, including pre-death pain and suffering, Decedent's estate may recover for his pre-death pain and suffering under general maritime law.
If you need to reach me or are unable to download the opinion in Hardick and would like a copy of the decision, please feel free to reach me at miamipandi@comcast.net or mov@chaloslaw.com.

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