Calif. Jury Reaches Defense Verdict for John Crane, Oscar E. Erickson Inc. in Asbestos Case

October 12, 2015 – Media Coverage

PLEASANTON, Calif. –– A California jury has reached a defense verdict at the end of an asbestos trial involving John Crane Inc. and Oscar E. Erickson Inc., sources told HarrisMartin.

The California Superior Court for Alameda County jury reached the defense verdict on Oct. 7 after three hours of deliberations. Judge Julia Spain presided over the six-week trial.

Plaintiff James Harkin contended that he was exposed to asbestos in John Crane’s valve packing. He additionally alleged he incurred bystander exposure when he worked in the presence of Oscar E. Erickson employees who allegedly disturbed asbestos-containing materials at the Union Oil refinery in Rodeo, Calif.

Harkin asserted product defect, failure-to-warn and negligence claims, sources said.

Sources said that the jury determined that the packing used by Harkin was not defective or dangerous and that the defendant was not negligent. Jurors additionally found that the activities of Oscar E. Erickson employees did not expose Harkin to asbestos.

Testifying on behalf of the plaintiff were Richard Cohen, M.D.; David Tarin, M.D., Ph.D.; Christopher DePasquale, CIH; Arnold Brody, M.D., Ph.D.; Barry Horn, M.D.; and Dr. Allan Smith, M.D., Ph.D.

Testifying on behalf of John Crane were John Henshaw, CIH; and Victor Roggli, M.D.

Testifying on behalf of Oscar E. Erickson Inc. was Kyle Dotson, CIH.

John Crane was represented by Bill D. Fountain of Hawkins Parnell & Young San Francisco office.

Oscar E. Erickson Inc. was represented by Ingrid K. Campagne and Kurt T. Putnam of Walsworth – WFBM LLC in San Francisco.

The plaintiff was represented by Jennifer L. Alesio of Brayton Purcell in Novato, Calif.

Harkin v. John Crane Inc., No. n/a (Calif. Super. Ct., Alameda Cty.).

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