$10 Million Mesothelioma Verdict Awarded for Defective Asbestos Cement Pipe

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CertainTeed Corp. Misrepresented and Concealed the Health Risks of Handling and Working with its Product

CertainTeed advertised that its pipe was a “nonharmful use of asbestos” despite its knowledge that this was false.

On Friday an Alameda County jury awarded a $10 million mesothelioma verdict to Michael and Cindy Burch, represented by the Oakland law firm Kazan McClain Satterley & Greenwood, in a personal injury case against defendant CertainTeed Corporation. Michael Burch, 65, was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in May of 2016. Cindy Burch is his wife of 46 years. According to court documents, the jury in Michael B. Burch and Cindy Burch v. CertainTeed Corporation, et al. (Case No. RG16819332, Alameda County Superior Court) found that the asbestos cement (AC) pipe manufactured by CertainTeed was defective, and the Company knew the health risks of its product but failed to warn of those risks, fraudulently misrepresented, and intentionally concealed the health risks.

About the Mesothelioma Verdict
Attorneys Justin Bosl and Arcelia Hurtado of Kazan Law represented the Burch family in the seven-week jury trial in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda. After the jury rendered its mesothelioma verdict, Bosl stated, “CertainTeed misrepresented and concealed the health risks of handling and working with its AC pipe. As a result, Michael Burch was exposed to asbestos while cutting, drilling, and laying AC pipe. We are pleased with the jury’s verdict and award which will give Mr. Burch greater peace of mind.”

According to court documents, Burch’s exposure to asbestos occurred in the 1970s while working with AC pipe for J.C. Plumbing Company and Valley Engineers throughout California. His work involved cutting and beveling AC pipe primarily manufactured by CertainTeed using various hand tools and a 12-inch abrasive disc saw, which created extremely dusty working conditions. According to court documents, the dust contained the cancer-causing mineral asbestos. Burch unknowingly breathed deadly asbestos dust at work on a daily basis but, according to court documents, was never warned that the dust could cause him to contract the incurable disease mesothelioma. According to court documents, the jury heard evidence that CertainTeed knew asbestos caused cancer as early as 1962, but did not begin warning about cancer hazards on its pipe until 1985. On the contrary, CertainTeed advertised that its pipe was a “nonharmful use of asbestos” despite its knowledge that this was false, according to court documents.

About Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a specific type of cancer with only one cause: exposure to asbestos. Construction workers are one of the groups most at risk for asbestos exposure. Carpenters, pipefitters, roofers, cement masons, electrical workers, bricklayers, and heat insulators are just a few of the trades where workers have been known to develop mesothelioma from past exposure to asbestos. Despite the growing awareness of the health risks and reduction of the cancer-causing mineral in construction products, asbestos has not been banned and is still legal in construction and other products available today. Mesothelioma takes a long time to develop, taking 20 to 40 years or longer. Some people get this cancer from even a brief period of exposure to asbestos. Spouses, children and others living with someone who works with asbestos are also at risk of developing mesothelioma.

About Kazan Law
Kazan McClain Satterley & Greenwood is a leading California law firm representing individuals in mesothelioma lawsuits. With more than 20 attorneys and based in Oakland, CA, Kazan Law has represented thousands of individuals in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits and obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for its clients since its founding in 1974.

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Justin Bosl
Kazan Law
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