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Court Reinstates $2 Million Damage Award to Seaman's Widow

The Virginia Supreme Court has reinstated a $2 million award it struck down earlier this year in an asbestos lawsuit against John Crane, Inc.

In March, the court vacated awards totaling more than $3 million in a lawsuit filed by Robert Hardick, who alleged exposure to asbestos while a Navy seaman, before he passed away. One portion struck down was a $2 million pain and suffering award.

Hardick's widow Margaret asked for a rehearing of the decision, and on Sept. 14 the court reinstated the award.

"(W)e hold that in a general maritime survival action based upon the death of a seaman, we look to the Jones Act for guidance," Justice Donald Lemons wrote.

"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, Hardick's estate may recover for his pre-death pain and suffering under general maritime law."

Anderson Carey Alexander is a maritime law firm that represents injured seamen and the families of those who perish at sea. We have recovered millions of dollars in compensation to assist spouses and children of deceased seamen. We can be consulted, without obligation, by calling 1-800-BOATLAW, or by emailing boatlaw@boatlaw.com.

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