A Complete Defense Verdict for HP Partners James Parker and Tommy Remillard After Three-Week Mesothelioma Jury Trial

Posted on Friday, 15 March 2019

After a three week trial, a Los Angeles jury awarded $25 million in a testicular mesothelioma case, but found no liability for Hugo Parker client Brand Insulations, Inc., represented by HP Partners James Parker and Tommy Remillard.

Abadan, The City of Oil Plaintiff Houshang Sabetian, age 85, had worked at oil refineries in Iran between 1959 and 1979 and was around work performed by Fluor and many other contractors. Brand Insulations had been a subcontractor to Fluor for the installation of thermal insulation at one such site, the Abadan Refinery, at that time the world’s largest oil refinery.

According to James Parker, the jury agreed that Brand had been a "responsible company that did not use asbestos-containing molded thermal insulation in Iran."

Mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testes ("TVT"), or testicular cancer, is an extremely rare form of mesothelioma, occurring in only a handful of men each year. The link between asbestos and TVT has never been clearly established by science, but has been suggested by scattered case reports.

Before trial commenced, the court had agreed with Hugo Parker and other defendants that Iranian law should apply, the first such ruling by a trial court in California. The ruling meant that plaintiffs could pursue only a negligence theory and could not seek punitive damages. After trial commenced, plaintiffs waived all economic losses. After less than 1.5 days of deliberation, the jury exonerated Brand Insulations and one other defendant, but as against two of four Fluor entities it awarded Mr. Sabetian $14 million for his past and future pain and suffering, and $11 million to his wife for her past and future loss of love and companionship.

The jury held that plaintiff himself was not negligent, but did find that his employer, the National Iranian Oil Co., had been negligent and bore 20 percent of the responsibility for Mr. Sabetian’s mesothelioma, with the two Fluor entities bearing the remainder of fault.

The case is Sabetian et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. JCCCP 4674 / BC699945. Trial commenced February 20, 2019 with opening statements; the verdict was returned March 14, 2019. Trial judge was the Hon. Rupert A. Byrdsong, sitting in Dept. 28.

Read the full article here or at Law360.com


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