Case Style: Edward Walton, et al v. Alfa Laval, Inc., et al, In the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles, No. BC 361382
Plaintiff(s): Edward Walton and Carol Walton
Defendant(s): The William Powell Company
Verdict Date: Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Facts: Edward Walton, a 79-year old California resident, suffered from lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Walton was diagnosed with lung cancer in November of 2005. Walton is a retired U.S. Navy welder who served honorably from 1946-1968. During approximately six years of his service, Walton was regularly exposed to asbestos performing repairs and maintenance to marine equipment, including William Powell valves that were insulated with asbestos and contained asbestos gaskets and packing. Although Walton had a remote smoking history, he also suffered from asbestosis.
Following only 7 hours of deliberations, the jury returned a sizable dollar verdict in favor of the Walton family. The jury assessed significant non-economic damages and economic damages. The jury found that William Powell’s valves were defectively designed and that the company negligently failed to warn Walton and others of the inherent dangers of working with their asbestos-laden valves. The jury also found that William Powell acted with malice.
“We are so happy for Ed and Carol Walton. Ed Walton did exactly what he was supposed to do- Ed worked hard to provide for his family and served his country honorably. William Powell, on the other hand, sold dangerous products with no warnings. Now, the jury has answered. Only the jury could force William Powell to accept responsibility. That has now happened and that’s all we ever wanted,” said Jessica Dean, lead counsel for the Walton family.
William Powell was assessed 25% fault for causing Walton’s lung cancer.
Plaintiff attorneys: Jessica Dean, Simon, Eddins & Greenstone, LLP, Dallas, Texas; Ethan Horn, Simon, Eddins & Greenstone, LLP, Long Beach, California.
Defense attorneys: Dennis Young, Foley & Mansfield, Oakland, California.
Judge: Honorable Ralph Dau, Dept. 57
Plaintiff experts: Dr. Edwin Holstein (occupational medicine doctor), Dr. Arnold Brody (cell biologist), Dr. Shigeru Chino (Walton’s thoracic surgeon), David Fractor, Ph.D. (economist).
Defense experts: None