Case Style: Steven Pelley v. Afton Pumps, Inc., et al, In the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles, No. BC 358812
Plaintiff(s): Steven Pelley
Defendant(s): John Crane, Inc.
Verdict Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Facts: Steven Pelley, a 53-year old California resident, suffers from malignant pleural mesothelioma, a fatal cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Mr. Pelley was diagnosed with mesothelioma in August of 2006. Steven Pelley was exposed to asbestos as a laborer, electrician and machinist while employed at Peerless Pumps and Floway in Fresno, California. His work required him to routinely maintain equipment which called for the use of asbestos containing gaskets and packing. A substantial portion of these were manufactured by John Crane, Inc. and contained up to 80% asbestos. Mr. Pelley’s work exposed him to extremely high levels of asbestos dust.
“John Crane is a notorious defendant in the asbestos litigation because they have a ‘no-settle-regardless-of-merits’ policy,” said Chris Panatier, lead trial counsel for Mr. Pelley. “This jury saw through their lawyer-made defenses and assigned them responsibility accordingly. This was a great result for Mr. Pelley and it provides him with some closure.” Mr. Panatier stated.
The jury assessed 25% fault against Defendant John Crane and also found them to have been guilty of malice, oppression or fraud.
Plaintiff attorneys: Christopher J. Panatier (Dallas) and Ethan Horn (Long Beach) of Simon, Eddins & Greenstone, LLP.
Defense attorneys: John Katerndahl and Robert Nelder of Hassard Bonnington, LLP (San Francisco).
Judge: Honorable Charles Lee, Dept. 33.
Plaintiff experts: Eugene Mark, M.D. (pathologist); Steven Paskal, MSH, JD, CIH (industrial hygienist); Dr. Arnold Brody (cell biologist) and Dr. Richard Lemen (epidemiologist).
Defense experts: William Hughson (pulmonologist); Michael Matteson (aerosol physicist); Fred Toca (industrial hygienist); Michael Graham (pathologist); George Springs (corporate representative).