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Defense Verdict for Nissan in First Asbestos Trial

Los Angeles, CA
Oct 14, 2011

Steiner v. Nissan

CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. CASE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE.

Los Angeles, CA – On October 14, 2011, a California jury returned an 11-1 defense verdict in favor of Nissan North America, Inc. in the case Steiner v. Nissan. After 35 days at trial, Nissan claimed their first asbestos trial defense verdict, proving that plaintiff Richard Steiner's lung cancer was a result of smoking, not of exposure to asbestos-containing friction products. Judge Thomas Anderle presided over the trial.

Richard Steiner was diagnosed with lung cancer in late June 2009 and his right lung was removed in November 2009. He started smoking at age 20 and permanently quit after his lung cancer diagnosis. Additionally, plaintiff's experts testified that Mr. Steiner's smoking and exposure to asbestos-containing friction products such as brakes, clutch disc facings and gaskets from automotive work performed by Mr. Steiner for nine years resulted in a synergistic effect that increased his risk of lung cancer.

After the case transferred venues to the Santa Barbara County Superior Court, the California jury returned an 11-1 defense verdict for both Nissan and Pneumo Abex, and 10-2 defense verdicts for Ford and Volkswagen, who were also involved in the claim.

Plaintiff's experts at trial included Arnold Brody, Ph.D. (general causation); Robert Cameron M.D. (UCLA thoracic surgeon); Carl Brodkin M.D. (University of Washington, specific causation); Raymond Deutsch, M.D. (addiction medicine); Robert Johnson (economist); Barry Castleman, Sc.D. (asbestos historian)

Defense experts at trial included I.Allan Feingold, M.D. (University of South Miami, pulmonology); Patrick Hessel, Ph.D. (epidemiology); Victor Roggli, M.D. (Duke University, pathology); J. David Godwin, M.D. (University of Washington, radiology)

Plaintiff was represented by Simona Farrise of Farrise Law Firm and Sharon Arkin of The Arkin Law Firm.

Representing Nissan were Susan V. Vargas and John (Willy) Eberlein of Bowman and Brooke LLP (Los Angeles).

Trial Team