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Confidential Resolution Reached for Airline Pilot

Timothy and Caroline Vest v. Allied Packing & Supply, Inc., et al. (2012)
Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG09489518

Timothy Vest received a terrifying shock when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma at the young age of 44, in September 2009. Mr. Vest is a highly skilled airline pilot for a major carrier. He and his wife Caroline have three young children together.

Mr. Vest’s love of flying, and his exposure to asbestos, began early. His father was a senior pilot and later executive for World Airways. Young Tim often went with his father to the World Airways hanger at the Oakland Airport on the weekends so he could see the planes being repaired. The hangar, which was one of the largest in the country at the time, was first opened in 1973. Tim visited the hangar twice during construction, when he was exposed to the asbestos-containing fireproofing being sprayed. During the trips to the hangar after it opened, Mr. Vest breathed asbestos dust from the fireproofing in the hangar, from asbestos parts and epoxy on the planes, and from the asbestos drywall products used in the office spaces. Neither Vest knew they were being exposed to this invisible toxin.

When he turned 16, Tim Vest got his pilot’s license. He flew for Emery Worldwide throughout the 1990s, and was awarded the Civilian Air Medal by President George H.W. Bush for his work supporting Operation Desert Storm. Tim also flew relief missions to Chernobyl and Darfur. In 2001, Tim began flying for JetBlue.

The Kazan Firm filed suit on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Vest in December 2009 against the manufacturers of the asbestos products he was exposed to, as well as the property owner, tenant, and contractors at the hangar. The Kazan Firm was able to defeat the defendants’ two attempts to remove the case to Federal Court in Philadelphia. The trial began on February 27, 2012 against Dowman Products, Inc., which manufactured the joint compound used to build and remodel the office spaces at the hangar. The case resolved the following week during jury selection.

The good news for Mr. Vest is that his mesothelioma was caught very early. After surgery and chemotherapy, his prognosis is much better than most patients. He is spending as much time as possible with his family and staying as healthy as he can.

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