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Arizona Jury Awards $17 Million in Asbestos Death of Navy Civilian Employee

PHOENIX, April 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal jury in Phoenix awarded $17 million in damages to the family of a retired civilian employee of the U.S. Navy who died from the fatal asbestos disease mesothelioma after working for years in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia.

Trial testimony showed that George Coulbourn worked as a shipyard machinist from 1959 to 1966, where he primarily repaired and maintained equipment on naval ships. Those duties included the regular removal of asbestos-containing gaskets and packing from valves manufactured by the defendants and their predecessors.

Mr. Coulbourn died in 2012 at age 73, less than a year after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a terminal cancer found in the lining of the lungs that is primarily caused by asbestos exposure. He and his wife retired to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, following Mr. Coulbourn's almost 37-year career as a civilian employee of the U.S. Navy.