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Jury Delivers Complete Defense Verdict To Tucker Ellis Client in Asbestos Mesothelioma Trial

November 2017
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On November 15, Tucker Ellis obtained a complete defense verdict on behalf of an HVAC equipment manufacturer in the case of Diane Horst, et al. v. Union Carbide Corp., et al. in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Lackawanna County jury of 12 returned the defense verdict on the plaintiff’s claims that components in HVAC equipment, which were alleged to contain asbestos, caused the decedent’s mesothelioma. Mr. Horst was diagnosed with and passed away from mesothelioma at the age of 63. His alleged exposure occurred during his work as a residential heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning contractor between 1970 and 1978. He claimed exposure to components that were not made by the HVAC companies, including gaskets, but rather that were made by other companies and incorporated into HVAC equipment.

The plaintiff filed her lawsuit alleging claims of both strict liability and negligence. The case proceeded to trial against 11 defendants, five of whom remained at the time of the jury’s verdict. The defendants challenged whether there was sufficient evidence to prove Mr. Horst worked with or around any asbestos-containing components potentially incorporated into their products, whether that alleged work poses a health hazard, whether low-dose chrysotile exposure causes mesothelioma, and whether his alleged work with the client’s product was a factual cause of Mr. Horst’s mesothelioma. In reaching its verdict, the jury found that the client’s products were not in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the consumer and that the client did not act negligently.

Tucker Ellis attorneys Knight Anderson and Joseph Manno represented the client in the defense of this case. This defense verdict in a case alleging that asbestos exposure caused a plaintiff’s mesothelioma was the first of two such verdicts obtained by Tucker Ellis for two different clients on two consecutive days. Read more here.

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