Asbestos Victim Prevails in Suit Against Mining Co.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — May 26, 1998 — Frank Gutierrez worked from 1970 through 1975 at the Santa Clara manufacturing plant of CertainTeed, a major manufacturer of industrial asbestos–containing pipe. Defendant Cassiar Mining Corp. supplied raw asbestos to CertainTeed's Santa Clara plant from its mines in Canada. A jury awarded damages to Mr. Gutierrez for his injuries from exposure to asbestos in CertainTeed's pipe products, and Cassiar appealed the decision.
On appeal, Cassiar asked that the entire verdict be overturned. Through Brayton Purcell's efforts, the appellate court affirmed the verdict for Mr. Gutierrez (Gutierrez v. Cassiar Mining Corp. 64 Cal.App.4th 148, 75 Cal.Rptr.2d 132). One of the grounds of the ruling was that the trial court properly excluded undisclosed defense witnesses called at the last minute. The appellate court found that Cassiar's attorneys failed to make the proper "offer of proof" before the trial court.