HP Wins Complete Defense Verdict

Posted on Friday, 16 May 2008


Robert Bowen & Carol Bowen v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al.: Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. BC 372150  

Date of Trial: April 7, 2008 through May 16, 2008  

Judge: Victor E. Chavez, LACS Dept. 96  

Trial Counsel:  
• Stephen J. Healy of Paul & Hanley 
for Plaintiffs Robert Bowen and Carol Bowen  
• Gregory S. Rosse of HUGO PARKER, LLP
for Defendant NIBCO Inc.
• Susan Weisenberg Gilefsky and Bradford J. DeJarden of McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP
• Kevin C. Mayer, Raúl Pérez, Gerard P. Fox, Kathryn L. McCann and Emily K. Ayers of
Liner Yankelevitz Sunshine & Regenstreif LLP for Defendant UNION CARBIDE CORPORATION.
• Jerry Popovich and Bruce G. Chusid of Selman Breitman, LLP
for Defendant E.F. Brady.

Pre-Trial Demands:
$50,000 to NIBCO Inc.
Unknown as to other Defendants.

Twelve Defendants were present at the start of jury selection; all but four settled or were dismissed before opening statements.
E.F. Brady resolved the matter on May 8, 2008.

The jury deliberated for 1 day and returned a defense verdict on May 16, 2008.

Case Summary:
Plaintiff Robert Bowen claimed exposure to asbestos-containing products throughout his 38 years of work as a steamfitter. He claimed to have worked with NIBCO valves throughout his career and to have been exposed to asbestos-containing packing and gaskets as a result of that work. He claimed to have worked around Metalclad Insulation workers using asbestos containing insulation on various sites throughout his career, though only one specific site was identified at trial. He claimed to have worked around drywall workers employed by E.F. Brady at various jobsites and to have been exposed to asbestos containing joint compounds as a result of that work. He claimed to have worked around drywall workers using two brands of joint compound containing asbestos fibers supplied by Union Carbide on job sites in the late 1960s. The alleged sites, times and products in use were disputed by each of the defendants.

In closing argument Plaintiffs’ counsel asked the jury to award $300,000 plus in economic damages and $3,000,000 in non-economic damages. Plaintiff’s Counsel then suggested a jury finding of 25% liability as to Union Carbide and 5% each as to Metalclad and NIBCO.

Plaintiffs’ Trial Witnesses:
Robert Bowen
Carol Bowen
Edward Shortall (Co-worker)
Arnold Brody, PhD. (Specialist in lung biology and pathology)
Robert Johnson (Economist)
John Templin (Certified Industrial Hygienist)
Samuel M. Sobol, M.D. (Cardiologist)
Ian Sayers (Former Union Carbide Corp. employee; testimony by reading prior deposition transcripts)
William Lehnert (Former Georgia-Pacific Corp. employee; testimony by reading prior deposition transcripts)
Willis Hamilton (Former owner of Hamilton Materials; testimony by reading prior deposition transcripts)
Robert Fallat, M.D. (Pulmonologist)
Richard Cohen, M.D. (Occupational Health Specialist and state of the art expert on historic knowledge of dangers of asbestos)
Eric Stern, M.D. (Radiologist)
John Meyers (Former Union Carbide Corp. employee)

Defendant’s Trial Witnesses:
David Weill, M.D. (Pulmonologist)
Steven Fisk (Construction expert) called by Union Carbide
Charles A. Weaver, III, Ph.D. (Cognitive psychologist) called by Union Carbide
Donald E. Marano (Certified Industrial Hygienist) called by Union Carbide
Robert D. Strode (Certified Industrial Hygienist) called by Metalclad Insulation

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