A federal jury awarded $30.7 million to Brooklyn Navy Yard workers exposed to asbestos contamination, the latest decision in nationwide litigation that a judge Thursday likened to a "lottery."

The verdicts in the four-month-long case in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn - in which 64 cases were consolidated - were decided late Wednesday, after four weeks of deliberation.Judge Jack Weinstein called it "probably the most extensive individual trial of asbestos disease cases." But he also criticized the hundreds of cases involving asbestos contamination "a public scandal," and urged alternatives to settling some 200 outstanding cases still to be heard in federal court in Brooklyn.

The jury concluded that the government, particularly during the war years, was aware the work involved asbestos exposure that put workers in risk of injury or death.