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$11,500,000 Verdict for Construction Project Estimator

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)

An Alameda County jury entered an $11,500,000 verdict for a Martinez, California former construction project estimator based on his career exposure to asbestos-containing products, particularly, cement-asbestos board. Eternit, Inc., the only remaining defendant at trial, was apportioned roughly $2,500,000 in liability based on the design defect, failure to warn and negligent supply of their enameled cement asbestos board, Glasweld and Flexweld.

Don Lee Henderson, the primary plaintiff, worked the majority of his career following his U.S. Navy service as a construction project estimator in both Northern and Southern California. The nature of his work as a project estimator required him to visit numerous construction sites where asbestos-containing materials were being fabricated and installed. In addition, he was continuously exposed to asbestos dust while on his own employers’ premises, where multiple manufacturers’ asbestos-containing products were stored and fabricated, including those of defendant Eternit, Inc.

Kazan Law filed suit on behalf of Mr. Henderson in July 2001 and the unanimous verdict against Eternit came in mid-December: the defendant was found liable on three different theories of liability while simultaneously clearing Mr. Henderson of any negligence himself. Mr. Henderson was awarded over $500,000 in economic damages and $6,000,000 for pain, suffering and other non-economic damages. His wife and the second plaintiff in the case, Marlene Henderson, was awarded $5,000,000 for the loss of her husband’s consortium and companionship caused by his mesothelioma.

The plaintiffs’ case was tried by a team of Kazan Law attorneys that included principal Dianna Lyons and former associates Karen Creech and Carlos Guzmán.

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