R.T. Vanderbilt Tagged With $15 Million Mesothelioma Verdict by Connecticut Jury

Dean Omar Branham Shirley prevails on behalf of chemical engineer, military veteran 


BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – A Connecticut Superior Court jury has handed up a verdict of $15 million against R.T. Vanderbilt Holding Company Inc., on behalf of the family of a man who died of mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs tied to asbestos exposure.


Jurors took less than two hours to answer all questions in the case of Nicholas Barone of Milford, Conn. and said yes to the question involving punitive damages, meaning the ultimate verdict amount could go higher.


“We are enormously grateful to the jurors who heard this case and who, through their verdict, are providing some measure of justice for Nick’s family,” said attorney Benjamin Braly of Dean Omar Branham Shirley, who along with Sam Iola, represented Mr. Barone’s widow, Kathryn, at trial along with Brian Kenny of Early Lucarelli & Sweeny, who also represented the Barones.


Mr. Barone, who was 81 when he died in 2023, worked at a General Electric plastics facility in Pittsford, Mass., in the 1960s. While there, the plant purchased hundreds of bags of talc from International Talc and dumped them into hoppers as part of the plastics-making process. The talc came from a pit in upstate New York, known as the Arnold Pit, that is known to have been contaminated with asbestos.


Vanderbilt purchased International Talc in 1974 and continued the product line, making it responsible under Connecticut law for Mr. Barone’s death. 


Mr. Barone attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the U.S. Army. He held a degree in chemical engineering from Worcester Polytech and was a father of three. 


The jurors found that Vanderbilt should also be held responsible for punitive damages.  In Connecticut, once a jury determines punitive damages are appropriate, a decision on the amount is one the court makes at a later date.


The case is Kathryn Barone et al. vs. Blue M et al., case number FBT-CV-22-6116587S in Connecticut Superior Court at Bridgeport.


About Dean Omar Branham Shirley, LLP

Dean Omar Branham Shirley, LLP is a nationally recognized trial firm that handles cases across the country for individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries or have died as a result of the irresponsible conduct of others. For more information, please visit http://www.dobslegal.com.   


Media Contact: 

Mark Annick



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