Connecticut Jury Awards $20M in Worker’s Death From Asbestos Exposure

March 15, 2023

A Connecticut jury has delivered a $20 million verdict for the widow and family of John Peckham, who died in 2020 from mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while working with DAP “33” window glaze in the 1960s.

The two defendant manufacturers – Vanderbilt Minerals and DAP, Inc. – were each found 50% liable.

The $20 million is for compensatory damages; an additional award of punitive damages is to be determined at a later date. The jury award came after a seven week trial.

Lawyers for the Peckhams said the award is a record high for a mesothelioma case in the state.

The DAP “33” window glazing contained chrysotile asbestos and asbestos-contaminated talc. Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

DAP manufactures caulks, sealants, adhesives and other repair products. Vanderbilt Minerals supplies minerals and chemicals to multiple industries.

The Peckhams alleged that the two companies were aware of the dangers of asbestos but failed to warn the public. The two firms have faced multiple asbestos lawsuits.

Peckham worked at the Stillwater Worsted Mill in East Woodstock, where he scraped and removed dried glazing from window frames while replacing hundreds of windows. He died 18 months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

“Manufacturers and suppliers have long-known about the dangers of asbestos but have chosen to place profits over safety,” said Patrick Wigle, a partner in the law firm of Waters Kraus & Paul who represented the Peckhams.