James Stock, Jr.’s career as a police officer puts him in the line of danger every day, but it was his years before he entered law enforcement that are responsible for the mesothelioma that will eventually claim his life. Stock, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, joined the police force as a career, after years of working for NY Wire Mills, a New York company that used equipment made by Jenkins Bros. The valve manufacturer’s components were contaminated with asbestos, and as part of his responsibilities he did maintenance and repair of those valves, breathing in asbestos fibers. Following the 60-year-old’s diagnosis with the rare and fatal form of cancer, he filed a mesothelioma lawsuit in the Supreme Court of The State of New York, County of Erie, where a jury recently found Jenkins Bros. fifty percent responsible for his illness and ordered the company to pay him and his wife $70 million in damages.
The $7 million jury award is one of the highest ever awarded to a mesothelioma victim in Upstate New York, and the jury’s decision was unanimous. Their decision reflected their belief, not only that Jenkins Bros. materials were responsible for Mr. Stock’s mesothelioma, but also that the company failed in its duty to warn him about the dangers of the materials he was working with. Asbestos is a carcinogenic mineral that was used in the fabrication of numerous materials meant for high heat and high friction environments. Though its characteristic strength and ability to withstand heat made it an ideal component, it also has been found to cause a variety of physical ailments if inhaled or ingested. Mr. Stock has been diagnosed with the most deadly of the asbestos-related diseases, malignant mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer which is always fatal.
Mr. Stock began his work for NY Wire Mills in 1979, when he was just 21 years old and the EPA had already informed the public of asbestos’ dangers, yet Jenkins Bros. took no steps to warn people using their products about the risk of mesothelioma that they faced. If you were similarly affected and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608 to learn about the resources available to you.