Damages to Plasterer’s Family Upheld

Asbestos Manufacturers Lose in Appeal Court; Damages Upheld

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — March 18, 2002 — Asbestos manufacturers were unsuccessful in reducing the damages assessed against them in an asbestos–related wrongful death case (Sharon McKinney et. al. v. California Portland Cement Company, Amcord, Inc.). The California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, affirmed the lower court's jury verdict, stating that pension and disability benefits could not be used to reduce the amount of the reward. The Court of Appeal also found that the plaintiff's evidence about the value of lost household services was adequate, and that providing prejudgment interest for personal injuries was justified.

Roland McKinney, a plasterer, died at the age of 64 of lung cancer caused in part by his occupational exposure to asbestos. His wife, Sharon McKinney, and their family sued for his wrongful death. The defendants included California Portland Cement, and Amcord, Inc. (formerly Riverside Cement Company), manufacturers of asbestos–containing construction products.

The McKinneys were represented in the appeal by Alan R. Brayton, Gilbert L. Purcell, and Lloyd LeRoy of Brayton Purcell LLP.