Mesothelioma Verdict

Jury awards Significant Verdict Against General Motors Corporation


Case Style: Rafe Ledford, et al v. General Motors Corporation, In the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles, No. BC 360164

Plaintiff(s): Rafe Ledford and Evaline Ledford

Defendant(s): General Motors Corporation

Verdict Date:  Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Facts:  Rafe Ledford, a 69-year old Washington resident, suffers from malignant pleural mesothelioma, a fatal cancer caused by asbestos exposure.  Mr. Ledford was diagnosed with mesothelioma in June of 2006.  Rafe Ledford is a retired U.S. Navy machinist who served from 1958-1962.   During his four year service he was regularly exposed to asbestos while performing repairs and maintenance to General Motors Diesel Engines that contained asbestos gaskets. Such duties exposed Mr. Ledford to enormous amounts of asbestos dust.

“The Ledford family is grateful for the Jury’s service and for their time and effort,” said Chris Panatier, lead trial counsel for the Ledford family.  “It was good to see that the Jury was not influenced by General Motors’ unscientific defenses and excuses.  This was a fair and reasonable verdict,” Mr. Panatier stated.

The jury assessed 27% fault against Defendant General Motors.

This verdict was the first of two verdicts obtained by Simon, Eddins and Greenstone, LLP against General Motors Corporation in a period of two weeks for causing mesothelioma in an individual working with General Motors Diesel Engines in the Navy.  The other verdict was a significant verdict obtained on November 14, 2007 in the case of Bergquist, et al v. General Motors Corporation, in the Superior Court, Los Angeles County, California, No. BC-367766.

Plaintiff attorneys: Christopher Panatier and Jessica Dean, Simon, Eddins & Greenstone, LLP, Dallas, TX

Defense attorneys: Eugene Brown, Jr. and Amee A. Mikacich, Filice Brown Eassa & McLeod LLP, Oakland, CA

 Judge: Honorable Aurelio Munoz, Dept. 47

Plaintiff experts: Eugene Mark, M.D. (pathologist); Frank Parker (industrial hygiene); and David Fractor, Ph.D. (economist).

Defense experts: Patrick Hessel, Ph.D. (epidemiologist); Alberto Marchevsky, MD (pathologist); Sheldon Rabinovitz (industrial hygienist); and Fred Merrick (marine engineer).