Oct 3, 2011 – Santa Barbara Superior Court, Santa Barbara, CA
Plaintiff Richard Steiner worked with asbestos-containing brakes, clutches, and gaskets between 1977 and 1985 during a high school shop class while working as a mechanic's assistant at two gas stations and through his work on personal vehicles. Steiner smoked cigarettes for 30 years. The amount plaintiff smoked was in dispute.
Plaintiffs contended that Steiner's work with asbestos-containing automotive friction components that were manufactured, distributed and/or sold by defendants caused, in part, his lung cancer.
Defendants contended that Steiner's smoking was the sole cause of his lung cancer and that his work with asbestos-containing friction components did not cause or contribute to his diagnosis.
Plaintiffs were seeking general damages, and $1.9 million to $2.4 million in special damages. Plaintiffs also sought punitive damages against all four defendants.
Defense verdict for four remaining defendants Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Nissan North America Inc., Pneumo-Abex Corp.
ATTORNEYS: Defendant—James J. Yukevich, Patricia E. Ball, Julia E. Romano (Yukevich Calfo & Cavanaugh, Los Angeles) for Ford Motor Co.; Craig L Winterman, Charles Finberg, Tara-Jane Flynn (Herzfeld & Rubin LLP, Los Angeles) for Volkswagen Group of America Inc.; Michael A Brown Miles & Stockbridge, PC, Tysons Corner, Va.) for Nissan North America Inc.; Susan V. Vargas, John A Eberlein (Bowman & Brooke, LLP, Gardena) for Nissan North America Inc.; Timothy Bouch (Leath Bouch & Seekings LLP, Charleston, S.C.) for Pneumo-Abex Corp.; Kelvin Wyles (DeHay & Elliston LLP, Los Angeles) for Pneumo-Abex Corp.
ATTORNEYS: Plaintiff—Simona A Farrise (Farrise Firm, PC; Los Angeles).