Blackwell Burke P.A. won a complete defense verdict for 3M in a Los Angeles County asbestos lawsuit. The California jury rejected the plaintiff’s claims that 3M’s respirator failed to protect him from asbestos fibers.
The plaintiff, Angel Rigor, initially demanded $25.5M, which included punitive damages. He claimed he contracted mesothelioma from on-the-job exposure to asbestos over the course of 40 years when he worked as a welder, pipefitter and millwright. Plaintiff sued multiple defendants, four of which remained at the beginning of trial. Three settled during voir dire, and only 3M proceeded through the four-week trial to verdict.
The Blackwell Burke P.A. defense team argued that the exposure happened before 3M started selling the respirator at issue. Further, Rigor did not read the company’s advertisements about mesothelioma, was inadequately trained on the proper use of the respirator, had not undergone fit testing, and was not trained on asbestos exposure hazards as required under OSHA.
Ultimately, Blackwell Burke argued that the respirator worked when worn as intended, and the jury agreed. This is particularly noteworthy considering that California has consistently been named a “judicial hellhole”, i.e. an unfriendly or hostile jurisdiction for corporate defendants. This outcome was announced by HarrisMartin Publishing.