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Asbestos – Product liability – Failure to Warn – Dangerous Defective Product – Plaintiff contended that defendant was responsible for exposing decedent to asbestos, which caused cancer while working with brake products – Pleural mesothelioma – Wrongful death.

Los Angeles County, CA

In this asbestos matter, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant was negligent in exposing the decedent to asbestos and in failing to warn the plaintiff’s decedent while the decedent was working in the defendant’s brake and clutch remanufacturing plant. The decedent developed pleural mesothelioma as a result of his alleged exposure to asbestos in the defendant’s brake products. The defendant denied the allegations, and maintained that there was no liability on the part of this defendant.

The plaintiff alleged that her late husband developed pleural mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure from the defendant’s client’s products while he was working in a brake and clutch remanufacturing plant beginning in the mid 1950s. The plaintiff alleged that the decedent worked on the assembly line a the plant that affixed exclusively the defendant’s brake linings that they purchased in bulk from the defendant. The plaintiff contended that the decedent stood at the grinding station on the assembly line and ground up to ________ brakes per day, 8 hours per day, 5 1/2 days per week. The plaintiff brought suit against various defendants, alleging product liability however the defendant is the only defendant that remained through trial.

The defendant denied the allegations and argued that the plaintiff’s decedent had no markers of asbestos exposure in diagnostic films or pathology. The defendant further argued that epidemiology proves that brakes do not cause mesothelioma, and that the products were not defective. The defendant further argued that any exposure to dusts was caused by the decedent’s employers failing to provide minimum ventilation and respiratory protection for the decedent as required by California law.

The matter proceeded to trial. There was no exposure to any amphibole asbestos, or any exposure identified at trial other than work with brakes. The plaintiff’s decedent worked in a brake relining operation, grinding brakes for approximately two years. The evidence disclosed that he continued to work in and around the brake shops, as well as a brake salesman for over an additional 30 years.The matter was tried over a period of twelve days. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury deliberated for one day, and returned its verdict in favor of the defendant and against the plaintiff. No damages were awarded.

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