San Francisco Appeals Court Affirms Asbestosis Verdict

Asbestosis Jury Verdict Affirmed—Asbestos Corporation, LTD., Appeal Rejected

On March 28, 2008, the San Francisco First District Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by Asbestos Corporation, LTD. (" ACL") and affirmed the jury verdict in favor of the plaintiffs in Joseph and Mary Garza v. Asbestos Corporation, LTD. The plaintiffs filed suit against ACL, claiming that exposure to ACL's asbestos caused permanent lung damage and development of severe asbestosis.

ACL appealed the damages award for personal injury and loss of consortium on the grounds that (1) ACL was not within the jurisdiction of the State of California, (2) the decision in Arena v. Owens–Corning which applied strict liability to a supplier of raw asbestos fiber was wrongly decided by the court, and (3) the punitive damages awarded by the jury were excessive based on the insufficient evidence presented at trial. The San Francisco First District Court of Appeals disagreed and affirmed the judgment of $11,000,000 in favor of the plaintiffs.