Asbestos exposure is the only known and scientifically established cause of malignant mesothelioma
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) June 26, 2012
A California man, 66, was awarded nearly $2.1 million after his lawyers from the firm Weitz & Luxenberg persuaded a Sacramento jury that the deadly mesothelioma cancer he contracted was caused at least in part by exposure to asbestos dust encountered while repairing car and truck brakes (docket No. 34-2011-00104560, Sup. Ct. Cal.).
The jury on June 19 found Pneumo Abex, LLC, a manufacturer of automobile and truck brake-shoe linings, partly to blame for the man’s illness and set damages at $2,072,164, Weitz & Luxenberg reported.
The plaintiff was a plumber and installer of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems who repaired car and truck brakes as a sideline, the law firm said.
At trial, the plaintiff testified that he began handling asbestos-containing brake components at age 10 in the course of helping his truck-driver father service the pair of big-rig trucks he owned, court records indicate. Those same record show he identified Abex along with Bendix, Raybestos, FoMoCo, Delco, and other companies as the source of brakes and brake parts he routinely and extensively used throughout his life.
Abex attempted to demonstrate that its products were not the cause of the plaintiff’s mesothelioma, but, rather, that the disease stemmed solely from childhood exposure to asbestos dust carried into the plaintiff’s home on the clothing of the plaintiff’s father, who worked from 1957-61 as a forklift operator at a Johns Manville asbestos cement-pipe plant in Stockton, Calif., the court record reveals.
The jury decided that Abex was 13-percent responsible for the harm done to the plaintiff, court documents indicate.
Of that verdict, Weitz & Luxenberg lead trial-counsel Stephan Healy said: “In the end, the jury believed our client and rejected Abex’s defense that asbestos brake-repair work somehow does not contribute to the risk of the development of mesothelioma.”
(Mesothelioma is a malignant cancer that attacks the thin membranes lining organs in the chest and abdomen and is generally fatal within eight to 16 months of initial onset of symptoms, according to Healy. “Asbestos exposure is the only known and scientifically established cause of malignant mesothelioma,” he added. “Asbestos is a mineral once widely used in more than 3,000 consumer and industrial products sold in the U.S.”)
The Sacramento trial lasted three weeks and included expert-witness testimony on behalf of the plaintiff from an epidemiologist, a pulmonologist, an occupational-medicine physician and --speaking to the issue of monetary damages – an economist, court records indicate.
In addition to Healy, the Weitz & Luxenberg trial team included attorneys Ari Friedman, Cindy Saxey, and Los Angeles office managing-attorney Benno Ashrafi, the firm said.
Specifics of this latest verdict: $1 million for future non-economic damages; $500,000 for past non-economic damages; $428,257 for future economic damages; $143,907 for past economic damages, court records reveal.
About Weitz & Luxenberg:
Founded in 1986 by attorneys Perry Weitz and Arthur Luxenberg, Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., today ranks among the nation’s leading law firms. Weitz & Luxenberg has secured more than $6.5 billion in verdicts and settlements for its clients. The firm's numerous practice areas include: asbestos and mesothelioma, defective medicines and devices, environmental pollutants, accidents, personal injury, and medical malpractice. Victims of accidents are invited to rely on Weitz & Luxenberg’s more than 25 years of handling such cases – begin by contacting the firm’s Client Relations department at 1-800-476-6070 or at clientrelations(at)weitzlux(dot)com and ask for a free legal consultation. More information: http://www.weitzlux.com