Category Archives: California

California Jury Finds Against Asbestos/Talc Defendants for $22.17 Million Alameda County Superior Court, California December 12, 2017

CALIFORNIA — Earlier this week, an Alameda County, California jury awarded plaintiffs $22.17 million dollars, comprised of $17.6 million in compensatory damages and $4.6 million in punitive damages.  Defendants Imerys Talc America Inc. (40 percent) and Vanderbilt Minerals LLC (60 percent) were found liable.  Vanderbilt Minerals reportedly settled the case after the compensatory verdict.  The plaintiffs alleged that the 72-year-old decedent developed mesothelioma after working with paint made with talc that was contaminated with asbestos.  According to the plaintiffs’ closing arguments, the defendants had denied…

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Johnson & Johnson Found Not Liable in California Talcum Trial Los Angeles County Superior Court, November 16, 2017

After almost three days of deliberation following a four week trial, a Los Angeles area jury reached a defense verdict in a mesothelioma case against Johnson & Johnson and its supplier Imerys Talc America, Inc. In closing arguments, the plaintiff urged the jury to consider evidence that allegedly documented Johnson & Johnson’s long awareness of asbestos contamination in its talc mines in attributing the plaintiff’s disease to the defendants. Defense arguments focused on a lack of asbestos markers in the plaintiff’s lungs, and pointed to…

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Los Angeles Jury Deliberating in $24M Talcum Product Trial Los Angeles County Superior Court, November 13, 2017

CALIFORNIA — Closing arguments were conducted on Monday, November 13, 2017 in a trial against Johnson & Johnson and its supplier, Imerys Talc America Inc., alleging that asbestos in talcum powder caused the plaintiff’s mesothelioma. The plaintiff’s counsel argued that Johnson & Johnson and Imerys pushed to delay regulation of talc for years, and that the companies advocated for methods of testing their products for asbestos that could not detect the levels actually present. The plaintiff suffers from mesothelioma, and her life is predicted to…

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Los Angeles Jury Concludes Mesothelioma Not Caused By Asbestos Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles, October 27, 2017

CALIFORNIA — The estate of Velma Searcy (plaintiffs) filed suit in the Superior Court of Los Angeles for the personal injuries and subsequent death of Velma Searcy at age 51. The plaintiffs argued that Searcy’s mesothelioma diagnosis and death was caused from occupational exposure to asbestos through Searcy’s work as an electrician in the aerospace industry. The plaintiffs’ claims also included allegations of take-home asbestos exposure as a child watching her father perform brake changes on various vehicles. Most of the defendants either settled with…

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Talc Manufacturer’s Summary Judgment Reversed; Question of Fact as to Asbestos content of Product Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, Division Three, October 19, 2017

CALIFORNIA — Plaintiff Mary Lyons appealed summary judgment entered against her on her product liability claim against defendant Colgate-Palmolive, which was based on the allegation that she developed mesothelioma from the use of Colgate’s Cashmere Bouquet cosmetic talcum powder. The plaintiff testified at her deposition that she regularly used Cashmere Bouquet after bathing from the early 1950s through the early 197’s. Colgate manufactured Cashmere Bouquet from 1871 until 1985, and continued marketing the product until 1995, which coincided with the United States EPA’s report that…

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In Talc Case, Gaps in Chain of Custody Lead to Partial Exclusion of Opinions of Plaintiff’s Geologist California Court of Appeal, August 25, 2017

Plaintiff Delgadina Alfaro alleged the development of mesothelioma due to asbestos contained in talcum powder she used as a child. The jury found for defendants Colgate-Palmolive Company, the manufacturer of Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder, and Imerys Talc America, Inc., the successor-in-interest to talc suppliers for Colgate, including Cyprus. The plaintiff appealed, and the court affirmed. The plaintiff claimed that her mother and grandmother used Cashmere Bouquet and that she used it as well. Her years of exposure were 1977-90. Colgate made Cashmere Bouquet from 1871-1985,…

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Insulation Used On Nuclear Prototype “Ordinary Consumer Product” and Not Subject to Military Contractor Defense U.S. District Court, Central District of California, August 21, 2017

Plaintiffs Wayne and Tina Yocum filed a renewed motion to remand which defendant CBS Corporation (Westinghouse) opposed. Wayne Yocum was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died on February 5, 2017. Without oral argument, the court granted the plaintiffs’ renewed motion to remand. Wayne Yocum served in the Navy from 1965-75. Westinghouse supplied the asbestos-containing insulation that was used in his presence during his naval training on the A1W, a working prototype of a nuclear propulsion system. The plaintiffs originally filed this action in California, and only…

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Plaintiff’s Medical Expert Permitted to Testify After Reversal of Judgment Barring Opinion California Court of Appeals, August 14, 2017

Plaintiffs brought suit against several defendants including TRZ Realty, alleging their decedent developed colon cancer as a result of occupational exposure to asbestos. William Duty worked as a drywall taper for over 40 years. Before trial, TRZ filed a motion in limine challenging Dr. Revels Cayton’s qualifications to testify as to the causal connection between colorectal cancer and Plaintiff’s exposure to asbestos. After the trial court’s hearing, the court disqualified Dr. Cayton. The plaintiffs conceded they could not prevail at trial without his testimony. The…

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Wrongful Death Claims Barred by Res Judicata from Prior Loss of Consortium Case California Court of Appeal, July 11, 2017

In this wrongful death case, plaintiff Janet Stewart appealed the grant of summary judgment to Union Carbide that her loss of consortium claim was barred by res judicata. The plaintiff also argued a miscarriage of justice in the setoff of her deceased husband’s settlement with two asbestos bankruptcy trusts against her entire economic damage award. The court affirmed both rulings. Larry Stewart worked as a plumber from 1968-2007 when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He and his wife filed a personal injury lawsuit (Stewart I).…

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California Government Claims Act Bars Plaintiffs’ Asbestos Action for Untimely Commencement California Court of Appeals, June 26, 2017

Plaintiffs Sandra Reyes Jauregui and Mario Reyes Jauregui filed a first amended complaint against the City of Pasadena arising from Sandra Jauregui’s mesothelioma. The City demurred to the complaint, arguing that the plaintiffs failed to comply with the Government Claims Act, requiring presentation of the claim to the City within six months of the date of Sandra’s mesothelioma diagnosis. The court agreed and issued a writ sustaining the demurrer. The plaintiffs originally filed a complaint against various defendants due to her father’s asbestos exposure while…

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