Mesothelioma and Asbestos Trial Verdicts
At Kazan Law, an award-winning California mesothelioma and asbestos law firm, we accept a relatively small number of cases and prepare every one of them for trial. Over the years, defendants and their lawyers have learned that trying cases against Kazan Law is rarely productive and almost always very expensive. As a result, they are anxious to settle cases with us. Even when we start trial, we almost always resolve it by settlement before a verdict.
Other lawyers report settlement amounts on their web sites; we do not. Our mesothelioma settlement amounts are held confidential for two reasons. First, our clients never want their personal financial information spread all over the Internet, and if we listed those settlements, everyone would know how much money that client received. Second, defendants who settle with us don’t want other defense lawyers to know how much they have paid our clients. They certainly don’t want other plaintiffs’ lawyers to know, because if word got out, those lawyers would try to get the kind of settlements we get.
So, if we bragged about our settlements as others do, it would let people figure out which clients got how much, and it would hurt all our future clients because it would reduce the potential for getting them the kinds of settlements we have gotten others in the past. Since our primary responsibility is to do the very best we can for every client, the decision to forgo “bragging rights” is an easy one.
We can’t brag about our settlements, but verdicts after trials – whether before a jury or just with a judge – are public information. We aren’t afraid to bring cases to trial when we don’t receive a reasonable settlement offer from defendants, and we are successful in getting fair verdicts when we try a case like those below that have gone all the way through trial.
If you have a case, we would be pleased to evaluate it for you and give you our honest and well thought-out assessment of its potential on a private and confidential basis. You can be confident that unless we go to jury verdict, no one will ever know how much we recovered for you.
In April 2018, a jury in New Brunswick, New Jersey awarded $117 million against Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. and its talc supplier Imerys Talc America, Inc. for Stephen Lanzo’s asbestos cancer, mesothelioma. Stephen Lanzo was a lifelong user of Johnson’s Baby Powder. This historic victory proved by means of Johnson & Johnson’s confidential internal documents that is Baby Powder contained asbestos, and Johnson & Johnson had been aware of this problem since the 1950’s.
After a one-month trial, a Los Angeles, California jury returned a mesothelioma verdict which found American Optical Corporation substantially responsible for Louis William Tyler developing mesothelioma. The jury also found that American Optical Corporation acted with malice, fraud or oppression, determining the respiratory equipment manufacturer knew its product couldn’t prevent dangerous asbestos exposure and hid that fact from purchasers. (William and Becky Tyler v. American Optical Corporation, Case No. BC588866, Los Angeles County Superior Court)
An Oakland, California jury found that Owens-Illinois, a former manufacturer of KAYLO asbestos containing thermal pipe insulation, manufactured a defective product, was negligent, and failed to adequately warn consumers, and fraudulently concealed the health hazards of its KAYLO products. The jury also found that Owens-Illinois, Inc. acted with malice, oppression or fraud. (Rose-Marie and Martin Grigg v. Owens-Illinois, Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG12629580).
Following a six week trial, a jury in Oakland, CA found that the talc sold by Vanderbilt and Imerys Talc America’s predecessors contained deadly asbestos. The jury found those companies were negligent and strictly liable for the wrongful death of Richard Booker. Additionally, the jury found that both Vanderbilt and Imerys had acted with malice, oppression and fraud, and the jury awarded punitive damages, meant to punish a company for its bad acts. (Booker v. Vanderbilt Minerals, Case No. RG15796166, Superior Court of California, County of Alameda.)
An Alameda County jury found asbestos-cement pipe manufacturer J-M A/C Pipe Co. negligent and its actions malicious. (William Hardcastle and Vonda Hardcastle v. J-M A/C Pipe Corporation, Alameda County Superior Court No. 830058-2)
An Alameda County Superior Court jury found Hill Brothers Chemical Company responsible for mesothelioma and conduct undertaken with malice, oppression or fraud. (Karen Peterson and Jeffrey Peterson v. Hill Brothers Chemical Company, Alameda County Superior Court No. 2001-031817)
An Alameda County, California jury found that manufacturers Pneumo Abex, Arvin Meritor, and Carlisle Corporation defectively designed their brakes, failed to adequately warn consumers and customers of the dangers the brakes posed, were negligent, and intentionally concealed information that could have prevented harm, and acted with malice, fraud and oppression, warranting a second phase determination. (Gordon and Emily Bankhead v. Allied Packing & Supply, Inc., et al, Alameda County Superior Court No. RG10502243)
An Alameda County jury found Eternit, Inc., manufacturer of enameled cement asbestos board, liable based on design defect, failure to warn and negligent supply. (Don Lee Henderson & Marlene Henderson v. Eternit, Inc., Alameda County Superior Court No. 843027-6)
Mesothelioma Trial: $11,000,000 Wrongful Death Verdict Reached for Automotive Parts Man with Mesothelioma
An Alameda County, California jury returned an $11 million verdict in an wrongful death suit against Pneumo Abex LLC on January 15, 2014. The jury was tasked with deciding the full amount of Mr. Bankhead’s widow’s and daughters’ losses due to his wrongful death 17 years before his life expectancy. (Emily Bankhead, Tammy Bankhead, and Debbie Bankhead Meiers v. ArvinMeritor, Inc., et al., Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG12632899)
An Alameda County jury found asbestos supplier Plant Insulation liable for mesothelioma. (Ulysses Collins and Cloristeen Collins v. Plant Insulation Company, Alameda County Superior Court No. RG0414330)
After a six-week trial, an Alameda County, California jury returned a mesothelioma verdict which found Union Pacific Railroad Company responsible for the suffering and wrongful death of Jeffrey Emerson, who worked as a boilermaker at the Southern Pacific Railroad from 1971 to 1995. The company merged with Union Pacific in 1997. (Emerson v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., Alameda County Superior Court, Case No. RG-13698637)
A Hayward, California jury found Ford Motor Company guilty of defectively designed products, failure to warn of product defect, and negligence. (Patrick Scott and Sharon Scott v. Allied Packing & Supply, Ford Motor Company, et al, Alameda County Superior Court No. RG12613671)
An Alameda County jury found USX Corporation, successor corporation to Western Pipe & Steel shipyard, liable for mesothelioma that arose after childhood household exposure to asbestos. (Jeanette Franklin v. USX Corporation, Alameda County Superior Court No. 816407-0)
An Oakland, California jury found RSCC Wire & Cable, manufacturer of Rockbestos asbestos insulated wire and cable products, guilty by failing to adequately warn consumers and customers of the dangers its wire products posed, its negligence, and its malicious and oppressive misconduct. (Ronald Merrill Ricker and Suzanna Ricker v. RSCC Wire & Cable, Inc., Alameda County Superior Court No. RG10496251)
An Oakland, California jury found Crane Co, a manufacturer of industrial products, liable for a man’s mesothelioma after hearing evidence showing that Crane Co corporate officers knew or should have known as early as the 1930s that asbestos causes diseases that kill. (Hellam v. Crane Co., Nos. A138013 and A139141, 2014 WL 1492725 Cal. Ct. App., 1st Dist. Apr. 16, 2014)
A Los Angeles jury found brake manufacturer Pneumo Abex had been aware of the deadly health effects of breathing asbestos dust, but did not begin warning its customers of those effects until decades later. (Robert Frank Smith and Mary Lou Smith v. Pneumo Abex LLC, Los Angeles County Superior Court Docket No. BC396072)
Kazan Law filed suit against the manufacturers of the asbestos products that an airline pilot diagnosed with mesothelioma was exposed to, as well as the property owner, tenant, and contractors at the hangar the man visited as a child. Kazan Law was able to defeat the defendants’ two attempts to remove the case to Federal Court in Philadelphia. The case was successfully resolved during jury selection. (Timothy and Caroline Vest v. Allied Packing & Supply, Inc., et al.,
Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG09489518)
Kazan Law filed suit against the manufacturer of insulation used at PG&E’s Moss Landing Steam Plant. The night clean up crew worked around asbestos containing dust and debris that covered their clothing and affected their breathing. The case was successfully resolved without being presented to the jury. (Donald Osterberg v. Allied Packing & Supply, Inc., et al., Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG10515625)
We are always pleased when partners from highly respected trial firms join our team at Kazan Law. Their rich and wide-ranging experience adds breadth to our practice. The following mesothelioma verdicts are shining examples of the kind of results our newest partners have achieved on behalf of those exposed to asbestos. We look forward to seeing more of the same caliber of work as these fine attorneys represent new cases at Kazan Law.
$48,000,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for Construction Worker
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury found Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), a subsidiary of Dow Chemical Company, liable for exposing a construction worker to products made with asbestos. Mr. Bobbie Izell was an 87- year-old contractor who developed mesothelioma while building homes in Los Angeles County in the 1970s. This was the largest mesothelioma verdict in the nation in 2012— a record-breaking case that was won and upheld on appeal by our newest partners, John Langdoc and Denyse Clancy, prior to joining Kazan Law.
$20,000,000 Verdict for California Entertainment Performer
A San Francisco, California jury found the Koch Industries subsidiary, Georgia-Pacific, liable for exposing a woman to remodeling products containing asbestos. Ms. Joan Mahoney was an entertainer for several years; her career took her around the world, performing on United Service Organizations tours. However, it was her work in the family remodeling business that brought her into contact with asbestos-containing joint compounds that caused her to develop mesothelioma.
$17,000,000 Mesothelioma Verdict Awarded to Two Philadelphia Auto Mechanics
A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania jury awarded $17 million in damages to the families of two auto mechanics who worked with products manufactured by Crane Co. and Garlock Sealing Technologies. Both men were diagnosed with mesothelioma resulting from exposure to asbestos-containing valves and gaskets. The settlement was reached after the court permitted the jury to see documents where Garlock clearly admitted that their gaskets could cause the rare form of cancer; the gaskets were shown to contain 75 to 90% asbestos.
$12,000,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for Boiler Mechanic
On October 3, 2012, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania court found former asbestos manufacturer, Garlock Sealing Technologies, liable for exposing a boiler mechanic to carcinogens at a Johnsonburg, PA paper mill. Mr. James Grumley was diagnosed with mesothelioma after working for several decades with boilers that were covered with asbestos cement, asbestos gaskets and asbestos rope— all manufactured by Garlock. (James C. Grumley v. Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, #002823)
$11,600,000 Mesothelioma Verdict Upheld for Texas Laborer
In 2002, Timothy Shawn Bostic was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He was 40 years old, and died of the disease in 2003. As a child and teenager, Bostic worked as an employee for Knox Glass Company, and was exposed to asbestos while using Georgia–Pacific drywall joint compound. The case went to trial in 2006. The jury found Georgia–Pacific liable under negligence and marketing defect theories. The court of appeals concluded that the evidence of causation was legally insufficient and rendered a take-nothing judgment. Prior to joining Kazan Law, Denyse Clancy handled the appeal before the Texas Supreme Court, which reversed the court of appeal’s holding that the plaintiff is required to prove “but for” causation in an asbestos case (Bostic v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., 439 S.W.3d 332 —Tex. 2014)
Mesothelioma Trial: $11,000,000 Verdict Reached for Commercial Painter
In January 2013, a Dallas, Texas jury returned a verdict in favor of a man who was exposed to asbestos as a painter. Mr. Vernon Walker, 67 at the time of the verdict, spent much of his life as a union painter — working with asbestos-containing paints and products in the construction of strip malls, skyscrapers, and private homes. The Walker family found product manufacturers Georgia Pacific, Bondex, and Kelly Moore 60% liable. The jury found that 40% of the blame rested on Union Carbide Corp.
$9,000,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for Refinery Worker
On March 17, 2011, a Dallas, Texas jury found the Dow Chemical Company liable for the wrongful death of refinery worker, Mr. Robert Henderson, and awarded a $9,000,000 to his widow, Tanya Henderson. As a contract employee for Dow Chemical, Henderson was exposed to asbestos-containing insulators, which caused him to develop mesothelioma.
$8,400,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for Widow of Mesothelioma Cancer Patient
On January 3, 2012, a Dallas County jury found the Ashland, Inc. subsidiary, Hercules, Inc. liable for the wrongful death of John Gensler. Mr. Gensler died of mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure at a Dow Chemical refinery where he handled asbestos-containing pipe products manufactured by Hercules. Hercules has faced a robust amount of liability suits due to its manufacturing of carcinogenic products, including Agent Orange.
$8,200,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for Texas City Pipe Fitter
In November 2007, a Texas City jury awarded $8,200,000 to a pipe fitter and his wife in an asbestos claim against Houston-based Union Carbide Corporation and Ohio-based Hexion Specialty Chemicals Inc. Plaintiff Oliver D. Smith claimed both companies knowingly exposed him to asbestos, which caused him to develop mesothelioma.
$6,000,000 Mesothelioma Verdict for Electrician Exposed to Asbestos
In August, 2013, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana jury awarded nearly $6 million to a Louisiana electrician who developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while working at Dow Chemical’s Plaquemine plant. At trial, John Langdoc, now a Kazan Law partner, revealed that Dow Chemical allegedly predicted and calculated that a certain portion of their employees and contract workers would get cancer, but decided it would be more cost effective for the company to continue using asbestos in its chemical manufacturing. To this day, asbestos is still used in all of Dow’s chemical manufacturing plants— in the U.S. and worldwide.
$3,625,000 Mesothelioma Verdict Upheld for Louisiana Laborer
The Court of Appeal of Louisiana, First Circuit, upheld the $3,625,000 mesothelioma verdict for Alfred Watts, a former employee of Hebert Brothers Engineers, Inc. Mr. Watts worked for Hebert Brothers in 1963 in the cell service unit of the chlorine plant at the Dow Plaquemine, Louisiana plant, where he was required to handle asbestos. In 1994, Alfred Watts retired from Hebert Brothers. In the summer of 2001, Alfred was diagnosed with mesothelioma from which he died on October 31, 2001. (Watts v. Georgia Pacific Corp., 135 So.3d 53 —La. App. 1st Cir. 2013; petition denied, 131 So.3d 59 —La. 2014) The verdict was upheld on appeal by Denyse Clancy, now a Kazan Law partner.
California Appeals Court Upholds Verdict in Widow’s Mesothelioma Suit
In 2013, the Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Two ruled on an appeal of a nonsuit for the family of Arnulfo Hernandez who received a favorable verdict in a wrongful-death action against Amcord Inc. in 2009. Mr. Hernandez was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma when he was 62 years old, and died one year later. He frequently used 94-pound bags of asbestos-containing gun plastic cement, often getting cement dust on his face and clothing. Amcord, Inc. manufactured the Riverside plastic cement. Denyse Clancy upheld the verdict on appeal, prior to becoming a Kazan Law partner.
Los Angeles Mesothelioma Trial: Woman’s Wrongful Death Case Amended in Appellate Court
On September 12, 2008, survivors of the late Virginia Kay Cole filed a complaint against Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement, Inc. for exposing Ms. Cole to asbestos and causing her fatal illness. Virginia was exposed to asbestos while washing her father’s clothing between 1952-1965 and 1969-1970, and visiting him at residential construction sites in the San Fernando Valley. Their motion was not granted due to the family’s inability to identify the suppliers who provided the asbestos products that Virginia’s father worked with. On August 17, 2009, the complaint was amended due to new evidence and proof of culpability provided by Ms. Cole’s family. Denyse Clancy handled the appeal in the California Court of Appeals prior to joining Kazan Law. (Cole v. Hanson Permanente Cement, Inc., No. B221876, 2011 WL 184353 —Cal.App. 2011)