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Alameda County Superior Court

In this matter, the family of a man who perished of asbestos-related cancer sued the maker of several asbestos-containing products handled during his career. The matter was resolved via jury verdict after the defendant disputed damages.

From ________ to ________, the decedent, Gordon B., 66, worked in the service and repair of heavy duty vehicles as a parts man, primarily at the Sea-Land Shipping Company in Oakland, California. There, he regularly handled asbestos-containing brakes and was present for the inspection, replacement, grinding, and blowing out of asbestos-containing brakes. All of these activities caused him to breathe asbestos dust.

Pneumo Abex and Carlisle Corporation manufactured the vast majority of the brake linings he was exposed to, which in turn defendants ArvinMeritor/Rockwell, Inc. and Fruehauf attached to brake shoes and axles that were sold to his employers. In March ________, the decedent was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer linked with asbestos exposure. He later perished from that disease at the age of 68. He is survived by his wife and two adult daughters.

In March ________, the estate and widow of the deceased filed suit in the Superior Court of Alameda County for wrongful death, naming as defendant Pneumo Abex LLC. The plaintiffs sought recovery for loss of companionship and other wrongful death damages. After the conclusion of that case, the widow and adult daughters of Gordon B. filed suit in the same court for their own losses.In this second trial, which commenced January 13, ________, Pneumo Abex was not allowed to dispute its responsibility for decedent’s condition and death, as a result of an earlier case. The jury was not instructed on the defendant’s liability or the circumstances of his death. They were simply tasked with deciding the full amount of the widow and daughters’ losses due to his wrongful death 17 years before his life expectancy.After two days of trial, the jury returned a finding for the plaintiff. Mrs. B. was awarded $6 million in damages for the loss of her husband, with $________ in loss of companionship damages for each of the decedent’s daughters.

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