Paper Mill Employee’s Mesothelioma Blamed on Asbestos in Dryer Felts

It’s been six years since Henry Barabin succumbed to malignant mesothelioma, but his widow Geraldine is still trying to get justice from those responsible for his illness. Barabin was a long-time employee of the Crown-Zellerback Pulp and Paper Mill located in Camas, Washington.

He worked there between 1968 and 2001, holding a variety of jobs throughout the years. Some of his job responsibilities included working with dryer felts and cleaning paper machines, exposing him to asbestos fibers that contaminated the environment.

Mr. Barabin was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in late 2006, and as a result of multiple courses of chemotherapy and other treatment protocols was able to live with the rare and fatal form of cancer for almost six years.

He died in 2012, but not before he filed a lawsuit in 2009, which he and his wife won.

After Mr. Barabin died from the toxic illness, two of the defendants in the case, Scapa Dryer Fabrics, Inc. and AstenJohnson, Inc. appealed the verdict against them. They based their appeal on an argument that some of the testimony provided by expert witnesses in the case should not have been allowed.

Upon hearing the motions to exclude the testimony of several witnesses, District Judge James. L. Robart of the United States District Court in Seattle granted some of their requests and denied others. The asbestos company attorneys sought to exclude testimony based on legal issues such as reliability of the studies on which their testimony was based, the theory on which witnesses based their testimony, and the fact that the witnesses didn’t reconstruct the conditions that exposed Mr. Barabin.

The court disagreed on many of these issues, and allowed the majority of the Barabins’ witnesses’ testimony to be included at retrial. Following this decision, AstenJohnson agreed to a settlement with Ms. Barabin, leaving only Scapa Dryer Fabrics to pursue their appeal of the verdict against them.

Though asbestos companies will take every opportunity to fight having to provide justice to those who they sickened, it has been well established that exposure to asbestos causes malignant mesothelioma.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease and you need information about treatment, your rights, or any other resource, the Patient Advocates at can help.

Call us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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