Asbestos Verdict of Over $868,000 for Family of Drywall Taper

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A jury returned a verdict of over $868,000 in favor of a Brayton Purcell client, the family of a drywall taper who died of asbestoses and asbestos pleural disease.

A San Francisco jury ruled last week in favor of the family of a drywall taper in a products liability trial against a former manufacturer and supplier of asbestos-containing joint compound, spray texture, and acoustical ceiling spray. The jury determined that defendant Rich-Tex, Inc.'s asbestos-containing products were defectively designed and assessed $368,787.64 in economic damages and $500,000 in non-economic damages.

Douglas Ivance died on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2003, from respiratory failure caused in part by asbestoses and severe asbestos-related pleural disease. He had been a career drywall taper throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for 47 years.

Mr. Ivance worked with asbestos-containing drywall products, including joint compound, spray texture and acoustical ceiling spray. Based in Richmond, California, Rich-Tex, Inc. was a manufacturer and supplier of asbestos-containing drywall products, including joint compound, spray texture and acoustical ceiling spray, from 1963 to 1977. The company supplied asbestos-containing drywall products to the majority of Mr. Ivance's employers during that time period, when Mr. Ivance used the products.

At trial, plaintiffs presented evidence showing that when used as intended, Rich-Tex, Inc.'s asbestos-containing products had to be mixed, applied, sanding, and cleaned up--all of which released hazardous asbestos dust.

"We appreciate the jury's hard work in reaching a just verdict," said James P. Nevin, counsel for the Ivance family. Mr. Nevin, along with Laurel Halbany of Brayton Purcell LLP, represented the Ivance family at the trial, which began on January 16, 2007.

The case was Aline Ivance, Vicky Woolley, and Lindy Schluter v. Rich-Tex, Inc (San Francisco Superior Court, Case No. 419435). Judge Julie Tang of Department 303 of the San Francisco Superior Court presided. Defendant Rich-Tex, Inc. was represented at trial by Michael J. Boland of Imai, Tadlock, Keeney & Cordery LLP.

About Brayton Purcell

For over 24 years, Brayton Purcell has helped clients protect their legal rights in the face of devastating losses such as illness, injuries, and harm to family members. The law firm enjoys a national reputation for the high quality of its personal injury and product liability work, particularly in the area of asbestos litigation.

For more information, call 415-898-1555 or visit the firm web site at For information about asbestos and asbestos-related diseases, see the firm's web sites, Mesothelioma Network, and Asbestos Network,


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