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Defense Verdict in Washington Mesothelioma Retrial Via Zoom

November 15, 2021 – Press Release

November 15, 2021 (Seattle, WA) – Claire Weglarz of Hawkins Parnell & Young and Dan Griffin of Griffin Purnell secured a defense verdict in the retrial of a wrongful death mesothelioma case pending in the Superior Court of Washington in King County. Their client, a sealing product manufacturer, was the only defendant at trial. The three-week trial proceeded entirely via Zoom.

Plaintiff, the decedent's wife, alleged that James Clevenger’s mesothelioma and death was caused by his work with defendant’s packing products during his military service aboard Navy ships from 1974 to 1978, and his civilian work as a pipefitter at various industrial complexes from 1981 to 2005. In pretrial rulings, the judge limited the scope of the trial to the issue of causation based on findings made by a different jury during the first trial. Relatedly, the judge also instructed the jury that the defendant designed an unreasonably dangerous product, failed to include adequate warnings on the product, and was negligent. Despite those predetermined findings, the jury in the retrial found that Mr. Clevenger’s work with defendant’s asbestos-containing packing products did not cause his mesothelioma.

Plaintiff was represented by Gil Purcell of Brayton Purcell LLP.

Experts that testified at trial for the plaintiff were: Arnold Brody, Ph.D. (cell biology); Richard Cohen, M.D. (occupational medicine); Alan Smith, M.D., Ph.D. (epidemiology); Christopher DePasquale, CIH (industrial hygiene); and Steven Compton, Ph.D. (material science).

Experts that testified at trial for the defendant were James Crapo, M.D. (pulmonology); John Henshaw, CIH (industrial hygiene); and Capt. Margaret McCloskey (Navy).

Era Clevenger v. Bartells Asbestos Settlement Trust, et al., Case No. 16-2-07573-SEA (Wash. Super. Ct., King Cty).