Asbestosis Proved Fatal for Worker
Asbestos Verdict of Over $868,000 for Family of Drywall Taper
San Francisco, CA — March 14, 2007 — After two and a half days of deliberation, a San Francisco, California jury ruled in favor of the family of a drywall taper in a products liability trial against a former manufacturer and supplier of asbestos-containing joint compound, spray texture, and acoustical ceiling spray. The jury determined that defendant Rich–Tex, Inc.’s asbestos-containing products were defectively designed and assessed $368,787.64 in economic damages and $500,000 in non–economic damages.
Douglas Ivance died on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2003, from respiratory failure caused in part by CAP–NIOSH grade 4 asbestosis and severe asbestos-related pleural disease. The jury assigned 3.06% percent of the liability to Rich–Tex, Inc.
Mr. Ivance was a career drywall taper throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for 47 years. He worked with asbestos-containing drywall products, including joint compound, spray texture, and acoustical ceiling spray. Based in Richmond, California, Rich–Tex, Inc. was a manufacturer and supplier of asbestos-containing drywall products, including joint compound, spray texture, and acoustical ceiling spray, from 1963 to 1977. The company supplied asbestos-containing drywall products to the majority of Mr. Ivance’s employers during that time period when Mr. Ivance used the products.
At trial, plaintiffs presented evidence showing that when used as intended, Rich–Tex, Inc.’s asbestos-containing products had to be mixed, applied, sanded, and cleaned up—all of which released hazardous asbestos dust.
“We appreciate the jury’s hard work in reaching a just verdict,” said James P. Nevin, attorney for the Ivance family. o Mr. Nevin, asbestos attorney at Brayton Purcell LLP, represented the Ivance family at the trial, which began on January 16, 2007. Judge Julie Tang of Department 303 of the San Francisco Superior Court presided. Defendant Rich–Tex, Inc. was represented at trial by Michael J. Boland of Imai, Tadlock, Keeney & Cordery LLP.