We are pleased to report that Division Three of the First District of the California Court of Appeal has issued a unanimous opinion ordering the trial court to grant preferential trial status to asbestos plaintiff Gerald Boyd.
Asbestos Plaintiff Exposed Over Four Decades
Mr. Boyd, 71 years old, is rapidly dying of mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos in the 1940s through the 1980s from the U.S. Steel facility in Pittsburg, CA. Exposure from 1947 to at least 1963 was take home exposure through Mr. Boyd’s father, who worked at U.S. Steel. Exposure from 1967 to at least 1984 was from Mr. Boyd’s exposure as a result of his own work at U.S. Steel.
Mr. Boyd (and his wife Judith) moved for a statutory preference in their trial date, presenting a detailed declaration from his treating oncologist at the University of California, San Francisco that his ability to participate in a trial is diminishing and that there is doubt he will live beyond another six months. This required trial preference under governing California law.
Three giant defendants (U.S. Steel, MW Custom Papers (MeadWestvaco), and Owens-Illinois, worth a combined $16+ billion and anxious to avoid paying Mr. Boyd for the pain they had caused him) opposed preference, presenting no evidence but questioning the treating doctor’s medical opinions.
Kazan Law asked the First District for help, petitioning for an emergency order compelling the trial court to give us a trial date. That court quickly saw the Boyds’ entitlement to relief and, in a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Stuart R. Pollak, granted urgent relief, holding that the Boyds’ “entitlement to relief is obvious” and ordering the trial court to grant preference and set trial to begin no later than February 28, 2015.
We are hopeful that this early trial date will allow Mr. Boyd to see his case to completion so that he can see justice while he yet lives, and can be assured that his family’s financial future is secured.