Schott, et al. v. Alfa Laval, Inc., et al.

Date: April 3, 2012
Court: Los Angeles County Superior Court - Central District

Robert Thackston and Claire Weglarz tried a wrongful death mesothelioma case against Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, PC before Judge Kevin Brazile in Los Angeles Superior Court.  The Decedent served as a machinist mate in the Navy for 23 years.  Plaintiff was seeking both compensatory and punitive damages from HPTY’s client, a manufacturer of gasket and packing products.

Plaintiff called as expert witnesses Dr. Edwin Holstein, Dr. Eugene Mark, and Dr. David Fractor.  HPTY called its expert Dr. Fred Toca during Plaintiff's case-in-chief because he was unavailable later in the trial.  HPTY also presented its client’s corporate representative.

After two weeks of trial, the judge granted HPTY’s motion for directed verdict (nonsuit).  The judge sustained HPTY's evidentiary objections to the admission of deposition testimony of the Decedent and a co-worker regarding HPTY’s client’s products.  In sustaining the objections, the judge found that the Decedent's and co-worker's product identification testimony was conclusory and lacked foundation, and he therefore excluded it all. Thus, Plaintiff was unable to prove causation.