Jury Awards $31 Million in Single-Plaintiff Meso Case

December 15, 2005 – Media Coverage

MIAMI -- A jury has awarded $31 million to a mechanic who claimed he developed malignant mesothelioma after working with brakes for more than 20 years. Mallia v. Pneumo Abex, et al., No. n/a (Fla. Cir. Ct., Miami-Dade Cty.).

On Dec. 15, the Florida Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County jury assessed Pneumo Abex, the lone defendant remaining at the conclusion of the two-week trial, 46 percent liability.

However, published reports on Dec. 16 indicated that Abex had reached an agreement with the remaining parties in the case and would announce the deal by Dec. 19.

Sources said defendants Ford and General Motor settled Joseph Mallia's claims during trial.

The jury awarded $3 million in economic damages, $3 million for past pain and suffering and $25 million for future pain and suffering, sources said.

Abex argued during the trial overseen by Judge Richard Yales Feder that Mallia's mesothelioma was idiopathic or spontaneous, sources indicated.

Testifying on behalf of Mallia was Arnold Brody, Ph.D., cellular biologist, Tulane Unversity, New Orleans; Eugene Mark, M.D., pathologist, Boston; William E. Longo, Ph.D., materials scientist, Norcross, Ga.; and David Egilman, occupational medicine, Brown University, Providence, R.I.

The defendants called David Garabant, M.D., epidemiology, Ann Arbor, Mich.; John Craighead, Ph.D., pathologist, Burlington, Vt.; and Francis Weir, Ph.D., CIH, toxicology, Houston.

The plaintiff was represented by David Lipman and Rebecca Schull of David M. Lipman, P.A. in Miami; and Jonathan Ruckdeschel of The Ruckdeschel Law Firm in Baltimore.

The defendants were represented by Bruce Bishop of Willcox & Savage in Norfolk, Va.; Evelyn Fletcher Davis of Hawkins Parnell & Young in Atlanta; and James Powers of Powers & Frost of Houston.

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