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A jury in New Orleans awarded $10.3 million on Wednesday in the first in-person asbestos trial to take place in Orleans Parish Civil District Court since the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy photo)

In a rare in-person trial, a New Orleans jury awarded $10.3 million to a man who claimed he contracted mesothelioma after years of asbestos exposure working as a longshoreman.

The trial, which lasted six weeks, featured jurors in the gallery and plexiglass barriers, all due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gary DiMuzio, of counsel in the New York office of Simmons Hanly Conroy, which represented the Texas plaintiff, Henry Pete, said it wasn’t always comfortable, and there were glitches, but court officials and lawyers worked hard to make it happen.

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