Oregon Jury Finds for Five Defendants in Mesothelioma Case

January 1, 2001 – Media Coverage

PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon jury has found for five defendants accused of causing a former sheetmetal and autoparts worker to develop mesothelioma. Emrick v. AC&S, Inc., et al., No. 0002-02019 (Ore. Cir. Ct., Multnomah Cty.)

The Multnomah County jury returned the defense verdict following a 12-week trial that featured some $2.4 million in what sources said were proved economic damages suffered by plaintiff Dennis Emrick as a result of his asbestos exposure.

Emrick, a Detroit native, sued 57 defendants for allegedly causing his asbestos-related illness. Emrick was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 1999.

By the time the case reached trial, roughly a dozen defendants had settled with Emrick. According to sources, the settling defendants agreed to pay the 53-year-old Emrick between $1 million and $2 million, collectively.

The five remaining defendants - AC&S Inc., Asten Group, Inc., Quimby Welding Supplies, Inc., Scapa Dryer Fabrics, Inc., and United States Mineral Products Co. - argued that much of Emrick's exposure occurred in Detroit, where he worked in the automotive industry, sources said.

Emrick moved to Portland in the 1970s and began working in paper mills and later for a sheet metal contractor. The local defendants claimed that Emrick had not been exposed to their products while working at the various Oregon locations.

Emrick was represented by Gilbert L. Purcell of Brayton Purcell in Novato, Calif. AC&S was represented by Terry Hall of Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch in Seattle. Asten Group was represented by Ron Collins of Forman, Perry, Watkins, Krutz & Tardy in Jackson, Miss. Scapa Dryer Fabrics was represented Hawkins Parnell & Young in Atlanta and George S. Pitcher of Tooze Duden Creamer Frank & Hutchison in Portland, Ore. And, U.S. Mineral Products was represented by Jim Case of Case & Dusterhoff in Beaverton, Ore.

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