Ed Hugo Wins Complete Defense Verdict

Posted on Friday, 16 October 2009


Tommy Dye and Martha Dye v. Asbestos Defendants (B♦P): San Francisco County 
Superior Court, Case No. CGC-08-274606

Date of Trial: September 29, 2009 through October 16, 2009  

Judge: Hon. Ronald E. Quidachay, SFSC Dept. 501  

Trial Counsel:  

• William G. McDevitt of Brayton♦Purcell law firm for 
Plaintiffs Tommy & Martha Dye ("PLAINTIFFS")  

• Edward R. Hugo of HUGO PARKER, LLP for 
Defendant Foster Wheeler LLC ("FWLLC")  

• Genese K. Dopson of Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker for
Defendant Asbestos Corporation Limited ("ACL")

Pre-Trial Demands:

Plaintiff served C.C.P. § 998 offer of $37,499.00 to FWLLC.

The jury deliberated for 3 days and returned a complete defense verdict for FWLLC on October 16, 2009. As to the remaining defendant (ACL), the jury awarded plaintiff a total of $209,000.00 ($19,000 in past economic loss, $100,000 in future economic loss, $10,000 for past non-economic damages, $60,000 for future non-economic damages, and $20,000 for loss of consortium.) The jury found the ACL defendant 1% responsible for plaintiff's injuries and 99% attributable to all others, including plaintiff's comparative fault. Jury verdict form is attached.

Case Summary:
Plaintiff Tommy Dye claimed that while working as a boilermaker/boiler tender for the United States Navy between 1961 and 1972, he was exposed to boilers and other equipment manufactured or supplied by Foster Wheeler which allegedly contained asbestos-containing materials.

Plaintiff's claimed duties included mixing and applying Eagle Pitcher's asbestos insulating cement on a daily basis. He also testified that he was in the vicinity of others who performed similar jobs, or other trades who worked on the interior and exterior of the boilers.

Plaintiff alleged that he developed asbestosis (2/1 ILO) and asbestos-related pleural disease and filed an action against several companies that were connected to his work experience, alleging products liability. Defendant Foster Wheeler challenged plaintiff's claims, asserting that it could not be proven that it supplied the products which contained asbestos and that plaintiff did not suffer from asbestosis.

ACL argued that it did not supply the fiber present in Eagle Pitcher's cement.

In closing argument Plaintiff's counsel asked the jury to award millions of dollars in special and non-economic damages.

Plaintiffs’ Trial Witnesses:

Tommy Dye (plaintiff)
Herman Bruch, M.D. (plaintiff's retained medical expert)
Charlie Ay
Barry Ben-Zion Ph.D.

Defendant’s Trial Witnesses:

Norman Moscow, M.D. (Radiologist)

JURY TRIAL: Length, 12 days; Deliberation, 3.5 days

RESULT: The jury rendered a complete defense verdict in favor of Foster Wheeler. ACL was found liable for 1% of plaintiff's damages.

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