Hugo Wins Complete Defense Verdict

Posted on Tuesday, 13 November 2012


Case Name: Nunez (w/d: Francisco), et al. v. Special Electric Company, Inc., et al.

Date of Trial: July 18, 2011 - August 26, 2011

Judge: Debre K. Weintraub, Dept. 47, Los Angeles County Superior Court

Trial Counsel:
• Selby Lighthill, Esq. & Craig Peters, Esq. of Paul & Hanley ("Plaintiff")
• Edward R. Hugo, Esq. of Hugo Parker, LLP ("Defendant")

Pre-Trial Demands: Plaintiffs served C.C.P. §998 Offers to defendant Special Electric Company in the amount of $200,000 for decedent’s spouse Carmen Nunez and $66,667 for each of decedent’s three children. Special Electric countered with offers to settle the action for $0 and a dismissal with prejudice in exchange for a mutual waiver of costs. At the Mandatory Settlement Conference, plaintiffs demanded $750,000 to fully resolve the case.

Verdict: Complete defense verdict on August 26, 2011.

Case Summary: Plaintiffs Carmen Nunez and her daughters Carmen, Lourdes and Gloria Nunez alleged that Francisco Nunez died from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the peritoneum, caused by his occupational exposure to asbestos while employed at the Johns- Manville manufacturing facility in Long Beach, CA from 1964 through 1982. Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit against Defendant Special Electric Company, Inc. and other entities claiming that Mr. Nunez was exposed to raw asbestos fiber while working in the Thermobestos Insulation and Transite Pipe departments. The plaintiffs sought money damages for decedent’s loss of earnings, past medical care and home services.

Special Electric contended that it did not cause or contribute to Mr. Nunez’ mesothelioma. Defendant asserted that the dangers of occupational exposure were known when decedent worked at Johns-Manville and that Johns-Manville caused Mr. Nunez’ mesothelioma.

Plaintiffs' Trial Expert Witnesses:
• Dr. Barry Horn (Pulmonary Medicine)
• John Templin (Certified Industrial Hygienist)
• Robert Johnson (Economist)

Defendants' Trial Expert Witnesses: None

Jury Trial: Length, 15 days; Deliberation, 2 hours.

Result: The jury rendered a complete defense verdict in favor of Special Electric.

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