I have told hundreds of asbestos victims about the process of a mesothelioma lawsuit, yet nothing can prepare a client for the experience like the following excerpt. Thanks to Kazan Law client, Dr. Ron Gersten, for sharing his story in his book, Where the Mountain Takes Me, which he wrote with Gerry Mandel after his mesothelioma diagnosis in June of 2008.
The Courtyard by Marriott became the scene for a critical confrontation between the plaintiff Dr. Ron Gersten and a long list of defendants. The attorneys at Kazan Law sensed they had a strong case. They tried to cover every base, even bases that Ron was unaware of–his entire history, his grades in college, his affiliations and friends. Anything that might pertain to his condition, as remote as it might be, was examined inside and out.
Kazan’s team of investigators probed into every aspect of his case, from the companies responsible for the products and their lack of safety at the site, to the use of the asbestos in the products themselves. Thousands of pages of information were reviewed and potential witnesses contacted. The resources of this experienced law firm had been cranked into overdrive to move into the deposition quickly and effectively.
This phase of the hearings promised to put tremendous pressure on Ron. His sense of detail, his memory of events long past, his specific job functions, who, where and what the projects were, what kind of materials were used and who specified them—Kazan was a tremendous help.
Ron entered the room at the Marriott where fourteen attorneys were prepared to begin the deposition. Kazan Law partner Gordon Greenwood helped Ron to a chair. The process began after opening formalities. Ron’s lead attorney was a beautiful blonde woman with a perky attitude. More important, she was one hell of a lawyer. Her name was Andrea Huston and she ran the meeting with an iron fist.
The deposition lasted four days. Ron was in pain much of the time, and coughed frequently, a persistent attempt to clear his air passages. When he appeared to be tiring, Andrea halted the proceedings with a no-nonsense “Dr. Gersten is not in shape to continue. We will take a break.”
At the end of the four days, Ron went home and waited. He kept his cell phone near him throughout the day and night. They had sued fourteen entities. Gordon called occasionally to reassure him. Andrea kept him informed of where things stood. Ron’s wife, Martha, waited as breathlessly as Ron.
Andrea called one day not long after. “Good news, Ron. We’ve just settled one of the cases.” She told Ron a number and he almost dropped the phone. He had never seen that number before, not with a dollar sign attached to it anyway. Little by little, thirteen out of fourteen settled.
The size of the final awards ensured that all medical costs and living expenses for Ron and Martha would be taken care of.