Lung Cancer Plaintiff Allocated 60 Percent of Fault in $937,500 Verdict

CALIFORNIA — The plaintiff worked in the entertainment industry as a lighting technician for approximately 40 years, and alleged that asbestos exposure from plastic cement, construction and lighting products was a substantial factor in causing his lung cancer. Evidence showed that the plaintiff had a 37-50 pack year smoking history. After a four week trial, the jury found that the plaintiff was exposed to the defendant CalPortland’s Colton gun plastic cement, but that CalPortland was not negligent and the exposure was not a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s lung cancer.  The jury found that the defendants Mole-Richardson Co. Ltd. and Mole-Richardson Rentals, the manufacturer and lessor of studio lighting equipment, respectively, exposed the plaintiff to asbestos and were substantial factors in causing his disease. As such, the jury apportioned 15 percent of liability to each entity. However, the jury also allocated 60 percent of fault to the plaintiff, and 10 percent to tobacco companies.