Weitz & Luxenberg secured a $43 million trial verdict for Deanne and Craig Warren in Los Angeles, California, on May 20, 2022.
Partner Benno Ashrafi and attorney Brandon DuPree litigated, in step with Leonard Sandoval. Mr. Sandoval served as lead attorney in the case and is currently of counsel to W&L.
The jury awarded the Warrens $42.3 million in non-economic damages and $1.5 million in economic damages. The jurors found the defendant, Algoma Hardwoods, Inc., 50% liable.
The case against Algoma was filed February 6, 2020. The trial began on May 9, 2022, and a verdict was rendered in just 2 weeks. Superior Court Judge Michele E. Flurer presided over the trial in Long Beach.
Team Effort Wins Big for Our Client
According to Mr. Ashrafi, “Lenny Sandoval did an amazing job as first chair, and received tremendous support from the entire team.”
“It is my supreme pleasure to announce this verdict as there could not be a more deserving family than Deanne and Craig Warren. We are thrilled with the outcome,” Mr. Ashrafi emphasizes.
Our Client Faced Secondary Asbestos Exposure
Deanne Warren, who is 64 years old, was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in late 2019. She developed the illness after being exposed to asbestos in the 1970s.
Ms. Warren was not exposed to asbestos directly by working in and around asbestos at a factory or other workplace. Instead, she was exposed when it was carried home unknowingly by her husband on the clothes he wore while at work.
Her husband, Craig, was a carpenter and later a general contractor. He installed Algoma doors — that had asbestos in them — from 1977 through 1980. She was exposed to asbestos dust by virtue of the asbestos being brought home on her husband’s clothes.
Algoma Hardwoods Manufactured Doors
Algoma Hardwoods manufactured fireproof doors, which included asbestos in their core. The company sold these doors between February 1977 and October 1980. Algoma is a division of Masonite International, Inc.
In 1977, Algoma bought a manufacturing plant in Wisconsin from a company called U.S. Plywood Champion International. Algoma continued to operate the plant, creating fireproof doors.
Secondary Asbestos Exposure Is Deadly
For more than a century, we have known asbestos causes cancer. Companies chose to put the lives of their employees at risk by exposing them to asbestos. They didn’t warn their employees of the dangers. They didn’t safeguard their health. And they didn’t warn the general public.
Secondary exposure is also deadly. In many of our cases, spouses have developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos through their husband’s work clothes. They weren’t exposed in traditionally dangerous environments, such as in shipping yards, on construction sites, or in factories. They were exposed in their own homes.
Sadly, we continue to learn of companies that have been exposing the American public to the dangers of asbestos for decades without giving it a second thought. W&L attorneys continue the good fight on behalf of our clients harmed by these negligent companies — in the hope that one day they will listen. Until then, we do everything legally possible to hold them accountable.
W&L Wins Asbestos Lawsuits
Since our founding almost four decades ago, Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys have pursued this mission: to help get compensation for victims of asbestos exposure who were harmed due to corporate negligence.
Our firm also earned one of the largest California verdicts in 2021. W&L won a $27.4 million trial verdict for an electrical engineer. He contracted mesothelioma from the talc in Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Baby Powder.
Another recent case resulted in a $23 million trial verdict for our client diagnosed with mesothelioma. She was exposed to asbestos during her work with press pads in an industrial laundry facility.
In addition to these large wins in California, we also earned New York state’s largest single asbestos verdict in the amount of $75 million.