Settlements & Verdicts

Below are reports of verdicts obtained by past and present attorneys of Kazan Law that have gone all the way through trial.

It may seem strange that there are not very many, and most of them are quite old. Why do we say we are trial lawyers when we try so few cases to verdict?

  • We accept a relatively small number of cases and prepare every one of them for trial.
  • Over the years, defendants and their lawyers have learned that trying cases against us is rarely productive and almost always very expensive.

As a result, they are anxious to settle cases with us. In fact, even when we start trial, we almost always resolve it by settlement before a verdict. Other lawyers report settlements on their web sites; we do not.

Our settlements are confidential for two reasons.

  • Our clients never want their personal financial information spread all over the Internet, and if we listed those settlements, everyone would know how much money that client received.
  • Defendants who settle with us do not want other defense lawyers to know how much they have paid our clients. They certainly do not want other plaintiffs’ lawyers to know, because if word got out, those lawyers would try to get the kind of settlements we get.

Confidentiality helps us help you

So, if we bragged about our settlements as others do, it would let people figure out which clients got how much, and it would hurt all our future clients because it would reduce the potential for getting them the kinds of settlements we have gotten others in the past.

Since our primary responsibility is to do the very best we can for every client, the decision to forego bragging rights is an easy one. So, while this list might make it look as if we do not do much, it actually demonstrates how well we really do for our clients.

If you have a case, we would be pleased to evaluate it for you and give you our honest and well thought-out assessment of its potential on a private and confidential basis. You can be confident that unless we go to jury verdict, no one will ever know how much we recovered for you.

A Soldier’s Story on the Hazards of Asbestos-Containing Brakes and Clutches

“I will live till I die and then I will be dead for a hell of a long time.”
— –Retired U.S. Army soldier Haskell “Bud” Stillman in his memoirs, He Bleeds Olive Drab

Bud Stillman spent 20 years as a decorated soldier. During his first tour of duty in the U.S. Army, he served in Japan where he met his future wife, Kay. In order to return to Japan to find her, he re-enlisted to serve in Korea during the Korean War. He went on to marry Kay and continue his service to our country. He later served in the Vietnam War and was awarded the Bronze Star.

Exposure to asbestos-containing brakes and clutches

While in the Army, Mr. Stillman oversaw and performed maintenance on hundreds of vehicles, which had asbestos-containing brakes and clutches. After retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer, he became a mechanic and then maintenance supervisor for several fleets of heavy duty rental trucks. He regularly breathed dust from the asbestos brakes and clutches on these trucks.

Mesothelioma diagnosis

Mr. Stillman was diagnosed with mesothelioma in July 2010. Kazan Law filed suit on his behalf in August 2010 against the manufacturers and suppliers of the asbestos products he used in his work. [Haskell “Bud” Stillman and Shizue “Kay” Stillman v. Eaton Corporation, et al. (2011) Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG10528222]

They began trial against several defendants in July 2011, but by opening statements only Eaton Corporation remained. Eaton manufactured many of the heavy duty brakes Mr. Stillman used and encountered during his career.

Manufacturers were aware of hazards

The evidence at trial showed that Eaton received information about the hazards of asbestos from the manufacturers of the brake linings it used in making the brake systems it supplied, but never passed those warnings on to end users like Mr. Stillman.

The Stillmans resolved the case with Eaton during jury deliberations in October 2011.

Bud enjoyed spending time with his wife of many years, Kay, and his children, Mike and Grace, and his grandchildren, although he was no longer able to go on his weekly fishing trips. He looked forward to welcoming his first great-grandchild in May 2012, and was able to do so shortly before he passed away on June 15, 2012.

Mr. Stillman summed up his life in the closing pages of his book–

“My life-long partner, my friend, my lover and wife and I, head down the down-hill side of our journey arm-in-arm. Each time I look at her, the one thing that comes to mind is the words of this song: The only dream that matters has come true. In this life, I was loved by you.”

Timothy and Caroline Vest v. Allied Packing & Supply, Inc., et al. (2012)
Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG09489518

Timothy Vest received a terrifying shock when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma at the young age of 44, in September 2009. Mr. Vest is a highly skilled airline pilot for a major carrier. He and his wife Caroline have three young children together.

Mr. Vest’s love of flying, and his exposure to asbestos, began early. His father was a senior pilot and later executive for World Airways. Young Tim often went with his father to the World Airways hanger at the Oakland Airport on the weekends so he could see the planes being repaired. The hangar, which was one of the largest in the country at the time, was first opened in 1973. Tim visited the hangar twice during construction, when he was exposed to the asbestos-containing fireproofing being sprayed. During the trips to the hangar after it opened, Mr. Vest breathed asbestos dust from the fireproofing in the hangar, from asbestos parts and expoxy on the planes, and from the asbestos drywall products used in the office spaces. Neither Vest knew they were being exposed to this invisible toxin.

When he turned 16, Tim Vest got his pilot’s license. He flew for Emery Worldwide throughout the 1990s, and was awarded the Civilian Air Medal by President George H.W. Bush for his work supporting Operation Desert Storm. Tim also flew relief missions to Chernobyl and Darfur. In 2001, Tim began flying for JetBlue.

The Kazan Firm filed suit on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Vest in December 2009 against the manufacturers of the asbestos products he was exposed to, as well as the property owner, tenant, and contractors at the hangar. The Kazan Firm was able to defeat the defendants’ two attempts to remove the case to Federal Court in Philadelphia. The trial began on February 27, 2012 against Dowman Products, Inc., which manufactured the joint compound used to build and remodel the office spaces at the hangar. The case resolved the following week during jury selection.

The good news for Mr. Vest is that his mesothelioma was caught very early. After surgery and chemotherapy, his prognosis is much better than most patients. He is spending as much time as possible with his family and staying as healthy as he can.

Donald Osterberg v. Allied Packing & Supply, Inc., et al. (2011), Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG10515625

Donald Osterberg, age 79, worked from 1949 to May 1950 as a night shift laborer during the construction of the PG&E Steam Plant at Moss Landing, California. Mr. Osterberg swept up dust and debris, often six to 12 inches deep, from asbestos-containing insulation, pipe covering and other asbestos debris left behind from the day’s work at the construction site. Mr. Osterberg put dust and debris from various defendants’ asbestos-containing products into a wheelbarrow and dumped the wheelbarrow from a platform into a truck below, creating plumes of asbestos-containing dust. The dust covered his clothes and body and made it hard to breathe. J.T. Thorpe & Son, Inc., the remaining defendant at trial, had a contract at the PG&E Moss Landing plant to insulate six 100 foot boilers with 170,000 square feet of asbestos block, 71,000 pounds of asbestos cement, and 1,000 linear feet of asbestos pipe covering. J.T. Thorpe & Son, Inc. completed the insulation work on three boilers while Mr. Osterberg worked nights in the cleanup crew.

Mr. Osterberg was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused cancer, on February 22, 2010. The Kazan firm filed suit on behalf of Mr. Osterberg in May 2010. The trial commenced on January 18, 2011. Evidence at trial showed that J.T. Thorpe & Son, Inc. did not follow California’s Dust Fumes and Vapors Safety Regulations, and knew that its employees’ work of cutting, sanding, mixing and discarding asbestos-containing insulation products released toxic dust that was inhaled by its workers and others working in the vicinity. The evidence showed that by the 1920s and 1930s asbestos dust caused asbestosis and carcinoma of the lung, both progressive and potentially fatal diseases. The evidence showed that by following the state safety regulation to isolate its workers, use wet down procedures, and provide respirators. J. T. Thorpe & Son could have protected all workers present from the toxic dust. The evidence showed that J.T. Thorpe & Son, Inc. did not warn anyone at the Moss Landing site about the dangers of breathing asbestos dust.

After two and a half weeks at trial, after eight witnesses testified but before Mr. Osterberg took the stand, the matter resolved without being presented to the jury. Mr. Osterberg endured eight thoracentisis procedures, and more than 6 rounds of chemotherapy. He was a widower and lived with his son in Fresno, California. He was relieved that the trial ended and he was able to spend his last few days in peace with his family. He passed away on March 1, 2011.

Gordon and Emily Bankhead v. Allied Packing & Supply, Inc., et al. (2010), Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG10502243

On January 6, 2011 an Alameda County jury returned a $13.5 million second phase verdict assessing punitive damages against Pnuemo Abex LLC ($9 million) and Arvin Meritor/Rockwell ($4.5 million). In the first phase of the trial, completed on December 22, the jury awarded $3.9 million in compensatory damages, and found that the defendants, Pneumo Abex, Arvin Meritor and co-defendant Carlisle Corporation (which resolved before Phase 2), acted with malice, fraud and oppression, warranting the second phase determination.

Gordon Bankhead, age 66, worked from 1965 to 1999 in the service and repair of heavy duty vehicles as a Parts Man. He spent most of his career at Sea-Land Shipping Company in Oakland, California. He regularly handled asbestos-containing brakes and was present for the inspection, replacement, grinding and blowing out of asbestos-containing brakes. All of these activities caused him to breathe deadly asbestos dust. Abex and Carlisle manufactured the vast majority of the brake linings Mr. Bankhead was exposed to, which in turn Rockwell and Fruehauf attached to brake shoes and axles that were sold to Mr. Bankhead’s employers. Gordon Bankhead was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused cancer, in January 2010. The Kazan firm filed suit on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Bankhead in March 2010. Trial commenced on October 25, 2010. Evidence at trial showed that Pneumo Abex had been aware of the deadly health effects of breathing asbestos dust since at least the 1940s, but that Pneumo Abex did not begin warning its customers of those effects until years after Mr. Bankhead was exposed to the asbestos-containing brakes it made and sold. Abex and Carlisle were involved in discussions within the Friction Materials Standards Institute in the 1970s about whether to warn about the health hazards from its brakes. Rockwell knew starting in the early 1970s that its employees were exposed to dust from Pneumo Abex and Carlisle brakes, but did nothing to warn its customers of the same hazards. As early as 1977, Rockwell learned that one of its employees who handled brakes was diagnosed with mesothelioma, the same disease Mr. Bankhead developed. Despite their knowledge of the hazards of asbestos, Carlisle and Pneumo Abex continued to sell asbestos-containing brakes until 1987; Rockwell did not cease selling asbestos brakes until 2000.

The jury found that all defendants defectively designed their brakes, failed to adequately warn consumers and customers of the dangers the brakes posed, were negligent and intentionally concealed information that could have prevented the harm Mr. Bankhead suffered, all of which contributed to causing Mr. Bankhead’s mesothelioma. The jury apportioned 30 percent liability each to Carlisle and Pneumo Abex, 15 percent each to ArvinMeritor and Kelsey-Hayes and 10 percent to Mr. Bankhead’s employers. The jury awarded Mr. Bankhead $1,470,000 for his past and future economic loss and $1,500,000 for his pain and suffering. The jury also awarded his wife Emily Bankhead $1,000,000 for her loss of her husband’s support and companionship. The jury found that defendants’ actions were malicious, fraudulent and/or oppressive.

Mr. and Mrs. Bankhead were represented at trial by Joseph Satterley of Louisville, Kentucky, Kazan Firm partner Leigh Kirmsse and Kazan Law’s associate Justin Bosl.

Ronald Merrill Ricker and Suzanna Ricker v. RSCC Wire & Cable, Inc. (2010), Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG10496251

On November 18, 2010, an Oakland jury returned a verdict for the Rickers of $5,482,047.54 against defendant RSCC Wire & Cable, Inc. (“RSCC”), the manufacturer and supplier of Rockbestos asbestos insulated wire and cable products. The jury also found that RSCC acted with malice and oppression, requiring an additional phase of the trial to determine a punitive damages amount. Shortly after the second phase of the trial started, the case was resolved to the parties’ mutual satisfaction.

Ronald Ricker was exposed to asbestos from Rockbestos asbestos insulated wire products from 1966 to 1971 brought home on the clothing, person and personal effects of his mother, Clara Ricker, when she worked at Varian, Inc. in Napa and Walnut Creek, California, and from his own employment as a machinist at Varian, Inc. in Walnut Creek, California from 1969 to 1971. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused cancer, in October 2009. The firm filed suit for the Rickers on January 29, 2010 and we started trial on October 25, 2010. Evidence at trial showed that cutting and stripping RSCC’s Rockbestos asbestos insulated wire products released dangerous levels of asbestos dust and that it was a cause of Mr. Ricker’s mesothelioma. The evidence also showed that RSCC specialized in asbestos insulated wire and cable products, and even incorporated the word “asbestos” in the name of its brand Rockbestos, but ignored all the medical and scientific information about the health hazards associated with asbestos dust for over 60 years. RSCC continued to sell its Rockbestos asbestos insulated wire products until 1986 and did not warn its customers or end users about asbestos related health hazards until 1979. The jury found that RSCC’s defective design of its asbestos insulated wire products, its failure to adequately warn consumers and customers of the dangers its wire products posed, its negligence and its malicious and oppressive misconduct all contributed to causing Mr. Ricker’s mesothelioma, and was 33 percent responsible for all the damages caused by Mr. Ricker’s mesothelioma.

Associates William Ruiz and Ian Rivamonte, with the assistance of firm principals Gordon Greenwood and Frank Fernandez, represented Ronald and Suzanna Ricker at trial.

Ulysses Collins and Cloristeen Collins v. Plant Insulation Company (2009), Alameda County Superior Court No. RG04143303
Honorable Harry Sheppard, Alameda County Superior Court Judge
Plaintiffs: Ulysses Collins, Cloristeen Collins, and Patricia Collins
Defendant: Plant Insulation Company

Ulysses Collins died of mesothelioma at the age of sixty-five. He was a welder at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard from 1960-1973, a welder/boilermaker at Standard Oil in Richmond, California from 1973-1976, and a welder at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California from 1976-1994.

The case resolved before trial with various defendants and proceeded to trial only against Plant Insulation. Plant was the exclusive Northern California supplier of asbestos-containing thermal insulation manufactured by Pabco/Fibreboard in Emeryville, California. Plant also was an insulation contractor at numerous industrial and commercial sites in Northern California.

Trial commenced on October 2, 2008 and the jury returned a verdict on November 6, 2008. The jury verdict for plaintiffs was $10,038,000, which included $1,038,000 in economic damages. The jury determined that Plant was 20 percent liable for Mr. Collins’ mesothelioma.

Ulysses Collins, Cloristeen Collins, and Patricia Collins were represented at trial by Kazan Law principal Phillip Harley and associate Matt Thiel.

Robert Frank Smith and Mary Lou Smith v. Pneumo Abex LLC (2009), Los Angeles County Superior Court Docket No. BC396072

On March 25, 2009, a Los Angeles jury returned a verdict of $4,055,000 against Pneumo Abex LLC for Robert and Mary Lou Smith.

Robert Smith, age 65, worked from 1968 to 1971 as a automobile serviceman for Southern California Edison in Long Beach, California. He and his fellow workers regularly inspected, removed and replaced asbestos-containing brakes on Southern California Edison’s fleet of vehicles, causing him to breathe deadly asbestos dust. Pneumo Abex LLC manufactured many of these brakes, which Edison purchased from a local NAPA store. Mr. Smith was also exposed to asbestos while working as a truck driver from 1971 to the early 1980s hauling used brake shoes to and from a Sears, Roebuck & Co. facility.

Robert Smith was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused cancer. The Kazan firm filed suit on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Smith in June 2008. Evidence at trial showed that Pneumo Abex had been aware of the deadly health effects of breathing asbestos dust since at least the 1940s, but that Pneumo Abex did not begin warning its customers of those effects until years after Mr. Smith was exposed to the asbestos-containing brakes it made and sold. Indeed, Pneumo Abex was involved in medical studies regarding the health effects of asbestos at Saranac Laboratory in New York during the 1930s and 1940s and its Medical Director was a frequent speaker on asbestos health hazards during the 1940s. Despite its knowledge of the hazards of asbestos, Pneumo Abex continued to sell asbestos-containing brakes until 1987. The jury found that Pneumo Abex defectively designed its brakes, failed to adequately warn consumers and customers of the dangers its brakes posed, and was negligent, all of which contributed to causing Mr. Smith’s mesothelioma. The jury did not apportion liability to Sears. The jury awarded Mr. Smith $900,000 for his past and future medical expenses, $480,000 for his lost income and household services, and $2,500,000 for his pain and suffering. The jury also awarded Mary Lou Smith, his wife of over 44 years, $175,000 for her loss of her husband’s support and companionship.

On September 17, 2010, the Court of Appeal affirmed the verdict because there was substantial evidence Robert Smith inhaled asbestos from Pneumo Abex’s brakes, which contributed to Mr. Smith’s mesothelioma. The Court of Appeal also affirmed the cancer-causation legal standard used at trial, and affirmed Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s right to collect their lawsuit costs and medical expenses. On December 1, 2010, the California Supreme Court denied Pneumo Abex’s request for review of the case. Mr. Smith died during the appeal and his family’s wrongful death case against Abex will go to trial this November. The only issue will be the amount of damages, since Abex is bound by the first jury’s finding that it was at fault and caused his fatal mesothelioma. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were represented on appeal by Kazan Law partner James L. Oberman and associate Michael T. Stewart.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith were represented at trial by Firm principal Phillip Harley and associates Justin Bosl and Matthew Thiel.

Karen Peterson and Jeffrey Peterson v. Hill Brothers Chemical Company (2002), Alameda County Superior Court 2001-031817

On June 4, 2002, an Alameda County Superior Court jury returned a verdict in excess of $20 million for Karen and Jeffrey Peterson. Total responsibility (100 percent) for plaintiff’s mesothelioma cancer was assessed against Hill Brothers Chemical Company, a southern California chemical company that is based in Orange, California. The jury also found that defendant Hill Brothers Chemical’s conduct was undertaken with malice, oppression or fraud, requiring an additional phase of the trial to determine an amount of punitive damages. The defendant avoided this phase by making an undisclosed settlement award.

Karen Peterson, age 42, was exposed to asbestos in her own family home from products manufactured by defendant Hill Brothers Chemical Company from the time of her birth until she left home at age 18 to attend college. The asbestos-containing cementitious magnesite floor which exposed plaintiff to asbestos is still in place in tens of thousands of homes today. Trial evidence included an estimate of 4 million square feet of the flooring still in place in family homes in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California. Although Hill Brothers Chemical Company’s products sold today do not contain asbestos, the company makes an exclusive line of accessory products including sealers and repair products that are specifically marketed to be used on existing asbestos-containing magnesite floors installed from the 1920s through 1977. Plaintiffs and their attorneys consider both the current existence of these floors and the Hill Brothers Chemical’s recommended restoration practice for these asbestos-containing floors—including sanding and wire brushing—to be a significant public health issue. If left unaddressed, in place magnesite flooring and refurbishing practices have the potential to expose a large number of persons to asbestos fibers now and put people at increased risk for serious and potentially fatal asbestos cancers many decades into the future.

Plaintiffs were represented at trial by Simona A. Farrise and Andrea C. Huston of the Oakland, California law firm of Kazan, McClain, Abrams, Fernandez, Lyons & Farrise who specialize in toxic torts including asbestos-caused mesothelioma cancers.

Don Lee Henderson & Marlene Henderson v. Eternit, Inc. (2001) Alameda County Superior Court 843027-6

An Alameda County jury entered an $11,500,000 verdict for a Martinez, California former construction project estimator based on his career exposure to asbestos-containing products, particularly cement-asbestos board. Eternit, Inc., the only remaining defendant at trial, was apportioned roughly $2,500,000 in liability based on the design defect, failure to warn and negligent supply of their enameled cement asbestos board, Glasweld and Flexweld.

Don Lee Henderson, the primary plaintiff, worked the majority of his career following his U.S. Navy service as a construction project estimator in both Northern and Southern California. The nature of his work as a project estimator required him to visit numerous construction sites where asbestos-containing materials were being fabricated and installed. In addition, he was continuously exposed to asbestos dust while on his own employers’ premises, where multiple manufacturers’ asbestos-containing products were stored and fabricated, including those of defendant Eternit, Inc.

Kazan Law filed suit on behalf of Mr. Henderson in July 2001 and the unanimous verdict against Eternit came in mid-December. The defendant was found liable on three different theories of liability while simultaneously clearing Mr. Henderson of any negligence himself. Mr. Henderson was awarded over $500,000 in economic damages and $6,000,000 for pain, suffering and other non-economic damages. His wife and the second plaintiff in the case, Marlene Henderson, was awarded $5,000,000 for the loss of her husband’s consortium and companionship caused by his mesothelioma.

The plaintiffs’ case was tried by a team of Kazan Law attorneys that included principal Dianna Lyons and associates Karen Creech and Carlos Guzmán.

William Hardcastle and Vonda Hardcastle v. J-M A/C Pipe Corporation (2001) Alameda County Superior Court 830058-2.

On April 12, 2001, Bill and Vonda Hardcastle were awarded $20,500,000 by an Alameda County jury in California. Bill Hardcastle contracted a rare cancer which he alleged was caused by the asbestos released at his workplace by the manufacture of asbestos-cement pipe. The defendant was J-M A/C Pipe Co. of Stockton, California.

Bill Hardcastle worked from 1959 until his cancer diagnosis at a pipe manufacturing plant in Stockton, California. His original employer was Johns-Manville Corporation. From 1959-1974 Bill Hardcastle was involved in the production of asbestos-containing pipe which at the time was primarily used for water transmission. In 1974, out of concern for his health, Bill Hardcastle transferred to the plastic pipe operations, with only partial walls separating the plastic pipe manufacturing operation from the asbestos cement pipe production in the rest of the facility.

Experts testified at trial that during the 1980s J-M A/C Pipe knew that there was no safe level of asbestos exposure and that even if they had not cheated on air quality testing with advance clean-up operations, their own standards were too lenient to protect workers’ health.

The jury was unanimous in finding J-M A/C Pipe negligent and its actions malicious. They awarded Bill and Vonda Hardcastle $10,000,000 each as compensatory damages. After hearing financial information about the defendants net worth of $1.1 million the jury also awarded $500,000 in punitive damages.

Kazan Law principals Dianna Lyons and Frank Fernandez successfully tried the case against J-M A/C Pipe Corporation. The defendant claimed it had never been sued in an asbestos case before, but apparently forgot that our firm sued the company as successor to the old Johns-Manville Corporation in 1983 after it bought and continued to operate Johns Manville’s asbestos cement pipe operation.

Jeanette Franklin v. USX Corporation (2000) Alameda County Superior Court 816407-0.

Kazan Law attorneys McClain, Abrams, Lyons & Farrise made U.S. asbestos litigation history with a verdict of $6,500,000 in an asbestos cancer case that arose after childhood household exposure to asbestos.

Jeanette Franklin, the plaintiff, was a little girl in the 1940s when both of her parents worked at USX Corporation’s Western Pipe & Steel shipyard in South San Francisco. Her father was a burner (welder) and her mother a ship’s carpenter’s assistant. Her parents unknowingly carried deadly asbestos fibers home on their clothing, and their young children were exposed.

In March 1999, Jeanette Franklin was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused cancer, and on August 25, 1999, Kazan Law filed suit on her behalf. By February 2000, the case was settled with almost all of the defendants except USX Corporation. USX is the successor corporation to Western Pipe & Steel shipyard, and refused to offer even $1. The case was tried to an Alameda County, California, jury by Kazan Law principal Simona Farrise and associate Andrea Huston.

Hamilton v. Asbestos Corporation, Ltd. (2000) 22 Cal. 4th 1127, 2000 WL 576190.

In an important victory for literally tens of thousands of asbestos disease victims, the California Supreme Court concluded that those who previously filed suit for non-fatal asbestos-related breathing disorders are not barred from filing a second lawsuit if and when they are diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-caused illness.

This decision reversed a lower court’s judgment that prohibited former shipyard worker Arthur Mitchell from recovering damages for his mesothelioma—even though Mr. Mitchell filed his lawsuit within one month of being diagnosed with mesothelioma. The lower court argued that Mr. Mitchell’s mesothelioma lawsuit was barred because he previously filed suit for non-terminal asbestosis with which he was diagnosed in 1979.

The California Supreme Court concluded that the relevant statute of limitations means what it says, so that asbestos disease claims are not time-barred unless they are filed more than one year after the victim is unable to work in his or her regular occupation because of the asbestos-caused illness.

Firm attorney James L. Oberman was responsible for the briefing in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court that resulted in this landmark decision.