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Stewart v. Union Carbide – $9.2 Million

FARRISE LAW FIRM HELPS OBTAIN JUSTICE FOR MAN DYING OF MESOTHELIOMA — LOS ANGELES JURY AWARDS $9.2 MILLION & FINDS CHEMICAL MAKER UNION CARBIDE CORPORATION LARGELY RESPONSIBLE

On November 18, 2008, a Los Angeles, California jury of 7 men and 5 women awarded $9,200,000 including $6,000,000 in punitive damages in favor of a married couple after a five week trial. Simona Farrise, LL.M, Farrise Law Firm of Santa Barbara, San Francisco & Los Angeles, lead the trial effort of the case which was litigated pre-trial by Carolin Shining, Esq., Paul and Hanley LLP, Berkeley, CA.

Plaintiff, a hardworking 59 year old career plumber, husband, father and grandfather was exposed to defendant Union Carbide Corporation’s asbestos when he worked on various construction projects in the Los Angeles California area during the 1970s. Plaintiff and his wife were devastated in December 2007 when they learned that he suffered from mesothelioma, a horrible fatal cancer only caused by asbestos exposure, and doctors told him he had but a very short time to live.

Defendant Union Carbide Corporation of New York, maker and seller of dangerous chemicals & agents and a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical, was found to be at least 85% responsible for plaintiff’s cancer. From 1963 through at least 1985, Union Carbide Corporation mined deadly asbestos from a California ore deposit, processed it into raw asbestos fibers at its King City, California milling operation, and ultimately sold millions of pounds of that raw chrysotile asbestos under the brand name Calidria asbestos. The jury found Union Carbide liable for compensatory & punitive damages after evidence showed that defendant corporation gave no adequate warnings of the extreme dangers posed by exposure to its product; and internal corporate documents confirmed Union Carbide’s management was well aware of the deadly nature of the asbestos it sold, but chose to actively hide and conceal the hazard information from the public including customers and users.  Although Union Carbide Corporation has been held liable in other asbestos cases, the award of punitive damages here is believed to be the very first time the chemical maker has been assessed an amount of punitive damages for an asbestos claim.

The Farrise Law Firm and Simona A. Farrise are more fully described at http://www.farriselaw.com<http://www.farriselaw.com>.  Background highlights include other successful trial efforts on behalf of injured workers, and Ms. Farrise’s consistent recognition as a Northern California SuperLawyer by SuperLawyers Magazine, for the fifth consecutive year among other honors.  More details of the SuperLawyers tribute can be found at http://www.superlawyers.com/pdf/platinum/NXSL08_Farrise.pdf <http://www.superlawyers.com/pdf/platinum/NXSL08_Farrise.pdf>.  Information about Carolin K. Shining and the law firm of Paul and Hanley is detailed at www.paulandhanley.com. Campbell Filmer, Esq., Paul and Hanley also assisted with the trial effort.