Trial Date Set for Mesothelioma Insurance Case

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Case filed in San Francisco Superior Court by Mesothelioma lawyers at the firm Clapper, Patti, Schweizer & Mason on behalf of patient diagnosed in 2006 moves through courts. Initial default judgment of $2,671,000.00 in favor of the firms client removed to Federal Court with trial date set for July 2009.

Frank Ham was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2006. He contacted the law firm of Clapper, Patti, Schweizer & Mason for legal representation. Mr. Ham worked as a pipe fitter in Nevada and California from 1954 until 1985. He was exposed to asbestos-containing products while doing this work. Ecklund Insulation, Inc. was an insulation contractor that worked on many of the same jobs as did Mr. Ham in the 1960s. A lawsuit was filed in the San Francisco Superior Court in 2006 on behalf of Frank and Dana Ham (Superior Court number 455063). It named a number of asbestos manufacturers and suppliers, including Ecklund Insulation, Inc. The owner of Ecklund promptly notified CNA, his insurer that the lawsuit had been filed and that CNA's predecessor had insured Ecklund during the entire time it was in business.

CNA conducted a search for the insurance policies and when none were found, closed its file on the case. In the meantime, an investigation by Mr. Ham's lawyers discovered that a certificate of insurance had been issued by CNA on behalf of Ecklund for a job performed in the 1960s. Ecklund notified CNA, but never received a response. No answer to the complaint was filed on behalf of Ecklund.

All of the other companies that had been named in the Superior Court lawsuit settled for several million dollars prior to trial, thus allowing Frank to seek the best of medical treatment for his mesothelioma.

On June 28, 2007, a default judgment was obtained in Superior Court in the amount of $2,671,000 in favor of Frank and Dana Ham.

In 2008, an insurance bad faith complaint was filed on the Ham's behalf against CNA by Clapper, Patti, Schweizer & Mason in the San Francisco Superior Court. CNA removed the case to Federal Court and it is now assigned to Judge Samuel Conti (Case No. CV081551SC). At the status in November, Judge Conti set a trial date of July 27, 2009.

Pleural mesothelioma is a terminal cancer of the lining of the lung that is caused by breathing asbestos fibers. Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, chemotherapy and radical surgery have been successful in slowing the progress of the disease. Mesothelioma treatment is very expensive.

About Clapper, Patti, Schweizer & Mason - The law firm of Clapper, Patti, Schweizer & Mason, headquartered in Sausalito, California, has been representing clients with mesothelioma for more than 25 years. Founded on the belief that people diagnosed with mesothelioma deserve the very best, most responsive legal assistance possible, the firm provides free case evaluations to anyone who has contracted mesothelioma.


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