Recent Successes

Recent Hassard Bonnington Litigation Successes

Purcell-Murray Co., Inc.: Summary Judgment Granted The plaintiff, a bathroom and kitchen hardware distributor, had been sued by a competitor for various alleged business-related claims. The plaintiff prevailed in that lawsuit. Plaintiff then sued both the competitor and the attorneys who represented it in the underlying action, accusing them of prosecuting their unsuccessful claims without probable cause and with malice. Hassard Bonnington LLP represented the attorneys in that malicious prosecution action. We filed a motion for summary judgment on the attorneys’ behalf arguing, among other things, that the plaintiff could not prove that the prosecution of the underlying action had caused it economic damage. The court agreed, granting the summary judgment motion on the ground the attorneys had caused plaintiff no damage as a matter of law. Judgement was entered for the attorney defendants.

Severely Brain Injured Child [name withheld]: Defense verdict on behalf of hospital and nursing defendants involving allegations of medical negligence in the management of a neonatal intensive care unit patient. The plaintiff, born at approximately 28 weeks gestation, was eventually diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result of extreme prematurity and a related condition of necrotizing enterocolitis. Plaintiff’s parents alleged their daughter received a substantial overdose of pain medication (fentanyl), which they believed caused severe hypoxic ischemic brain injury. The allegation of overdose was largely based upon the fact that the baby had some trouble breathing 15 minutes after the fentanyl was administered and was given an opiate reversal agent (Narcan) in response to her respiratory depression. The parents further alleged negligence in the management of the infant’s airway as her condition declined. In an effort to avoid the inherent risks of trial, extensive efforts were made by the Hospital and a co-defendant to resolve the case prior to trial, but no resolution was reached. Following a four-week trial with testimony from the parents, the involved health care providers, and retained medical experts, the jury decided in favor of the hospital and the co-defendants.

Nicolaas Schildknegt v. Bechtel Corporation, Weitz & Luxenberg, Los Angeles, 2013. Motion for Nonsuit Granted. Confirmed mesothelioma with contractor identification at plaintiff’s worksites. After six weeks of trial, the trial judge granted contractor Bechtel’s motion for nonsuit finding insufficient evidence that Bechtel was responsible for any of the plaintiff’s asbestos exposure. Plaintiff’s experts were Dr. James Dahlgren and Charles Ay.

Nordeman., Favorable Outcome During Arbitration. Hassard Bonnington LLP represented the defendant lawyer in a claim alleging legal malpractice for failure to file an action before the limitations period expired. By stipulation, the claim was referred to JAMS for a binding arbitration. The arbitrator returned an award in favor of our client, finding that the statute of limitations had expired before the plaintiff signed and returned the lawyer's retention agreement. For that reason, the lawyer had no responsibility for the running of the statute (2013).

Blickman-Turkus d/b/a Cassidy Turley., MSJ Granted: The plaintiff real estate brokerage firm sued its former attorney for legal malpractice in connection with a real estate fraud action which the plaintiff decided to settle rather than take to trial. Hassard Bonnington LLP filed a motion for summary judgment on the lawyer's behalf, arguing that the plaintiff could not "settle and sue" because it had no evidence the errors alleged against its former attorney made any difference in the settlement it negotiated. The court agreed, granted the motion and entered judgment for our client (2013).

Thomas Metcalf v. Parker Hannifin Corp., et al., Brayton Purcell, San Francisco, 2012. Voluntary dismissal. Plaintiff with confirmed mesothelioma and substantial exposure to asbestos-containing thermal insulation and fireproofing claimed exposure from client’s controls products and actions of employees.... Read more »

Thomas Metcalf v. Parker Hannifin Corp., et al., Brayton Purcell, San Francisco, 2012. Voluntary dismissal. Plaintiff with confirmed mesothelioma and substantial exposure to asbestos-containing thermal insulation and fireproofing claimed exposure from client’s controls products and actions of employees. However, he testified in deposition that he never actually performed work on the client’s products or was around when others did so. His other claim was that the client’s employees disturbed fireproofing in his presence as they were installing their equipment. Plaintiff could only present evidence in the form of co-worker testimony that this happened at one site. Our discovery efforts showed that this site was a poured in place concrete structure with no sprayed fireproofing. We marshaled all the evidence for a strong presentation of our client’s case to opposing counsel and the court during settlement conferences and held firm in our demand for a dismissal as the case proceeded to trial. Over twenty defendants remained as jury selection began and once a jury was empanelled and plaintiffs faced opening statements, they voluntarily dismissed our client.... Fold Read more »

Campanale: Unanimous defense verdict on behalf of physician involving issues of standard of care in claim alleging improper care and treatment of accident victim resulting in permanent injuries to pelvis, femur, knee and shoulder; 2011.

John & Sandra Leonard v. Crown Cork & Seal Co., et al., Brayton Purcell, San Francisco, 2011. Demurrer Sustained. Plaintiffs John and Sandra Leonard filed a personal injury action claiming that Mr. Leonard developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos during his work as a civilian pipe fitter and nuclear tester and... Read more »

John & Sandra Leonard v. Crown Cork & Seal Co., et al., Brayton Purcell, San Francisco, 2011. Demurrer Sustained. Plaintiffs John and Sandra Leonard filed a personal injury action claiming that Mr. Leonard developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos during his work as a civilian pipe fitter and nuclear tester and that Mrs. Leonard has suffered a loss of consortium as a result. Plaintiffs stated in the complaint that they were married in April 2001 and that Mr. Leonard was diagnosed with mesothelioma on or about September 2010. We demurred to the loss of consortium claim since the plaintiffs were not married at the time of the alleged act(s) that caused the injury, per the ruling in Zwicker v. Altamont Emerg. Room Phys. Med. Grp. (2002) 98 Cal.App.4th 26. The court sustained the demurrer and dismissed Mrs. Leonard’s loss of consortium claim. Plaintiffs filed a petition for writ with the Court of Appeals, which requested briefing as to why writ relief was necessary and why Mrs. Leonard could not simply appeal from the final order. Subsequent to the briefing, the Court of Appeals refused to issue a writ. Plaintiffs have since filed a regular appeal, which has now been briefed and awaits oral argument. Plaintiffs filed a motion seeking calendar preference, which the Court of Appeals declined to grant.... Fold Read more »

Raymond Bennett v. 3M Co., et al., DeBlase Brown & Eyerly, San Francisco, 2011. Demurrer Sustained and Motion to Dismiss Granted. Plaintiffs filed a personal injury complaint alleging that Mr. Bennett had developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos. Plaintiffs did not allege any particular... Read more »

Raymond Bennett v. 3M Co., et al., DeBlase Brown & Eyerly, San Francisco, 2011. Demurrer Sustained and Motion to Dismiss Granted. Plaintiffs filed a personal injury complaint alleging that Mr. Bennett had developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos. Plaintiffs did not allege any particular products to which Mr. Bennett was exposed and did not identify any asbestos-containing product with our client. We demurred to the complaint as being impermissibly vague and failing to state a cause of action. The court sustained with leave to amend. Plaintiffs failed to timely amend. Mr. Bennett died at about the time the amended complaint would have been due. Plaintiff Alma Bennett and decedent’s heirs subsequently filed an amended complaint alleging survival and wrongful death claims. Since the personal injury complaint had not been timely amended to cure the defects of the original complaint and the amended survival/wrongful death complaint also did not cure the defects, Hassard Bonnington filed a motion to dismiss based on principles of res judicata and collateral estoppel. Plaintiffs attempted to avoid having judgment entered in our client’s favor by filing a dismissal without prejudice the day prior to the hearing, after the tentative ruling in our client’s favor had been posted. We appeared for the hearing and informed the court that we did not accept plaintiffs’ attempted dismissal and the court granted our motion and entered judgment in the client’s favor.... Fold Read more »

Carlson: Defense verdict following seven day trial on behalf of physician in claim involving alleged failure to detect a stone in the common bile duct during gallbladder removal; 2011.

Edward Buck v. A. W. Chesterton Co., et al., Brent Coon/Morgan & Morgan, San Francisco/MDL, 2011. Voluntary Dismissal. Plaintiffs filed their complaint in San Francisco alleging that Mr. Buck had developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos, in part from products manufactured or supplied by our... Read more »

Edward Buck v. A. W. Chesterton Co., et al., Brent Coon/Morgan & Morgan, San Francisco/MDL, 2011. Voluntary Dismissal. Plaintiffs filed their complaint in San Francisco alleging that Mr. Buck had developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos, in part from products manufactured or supplied by our client. The case was removed to federal court shortly after it was filed and then transferred to the MDL in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In the face of our attorneys’ aggressive pursuit of medical, employment, and veteran’s affairs records as well as plaintiff Marlyn Buck’s deposition and a pending motion to compel, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed our client.... Fold Read more »

Toney Pilato v. A. W. Chesterton, et al., Farisse Firm, Los Angeles, 2011. Voluntary Dismissal on eve of trial. This case involved an 80 year old man diagnosed with mesothelioma who claimed exposure to asbestos primarily through his work as a machinist/millwright at Unocal Chemical Plant in Brea... Read more »

Toney Pilato v. A. W. Chesterton, et al., Farisse Firm, Los Angeles, 2011. Voluntary Dismissal on eve of trial. This case involved an 80 year old man diagnosed with mesothelioma who claimed exposure to asbestos primarily through his work as a machinist/millwright at Unocal Chemical Plant in Brea, California 1955 to 1981 and at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station 1991 to 1994. Initially, Mr. Pilato claimed to have worked with our client’s gasket and packing materials and claimed it was the predominant brand. On examination by Hassard’s attorney, Mr. Pilato recanted his testimony and claimed only to have worked with our client’s coil packing but admitted that the old packing he removed was wet, that he could not recall any model or style number associated with the client’s packing, and that he did not know if it contained asbestos. Nor could he place the product as having been used in any application that would likely have required the use of asbestos. We filed a motion for summary judgment on the client’s behalf. Hearing on the motion was set for the first day of trial. In the face of the pending motion for summary judgment and aggressive trial preparation in the form of motions in limine and our thorough and tough examination of their experts at deposition, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed our client the weekend before trial was to begin.... Fold Read more »

Eileen New v. 3M Co., et al., DeBlase Brown & Eyerly, Los Angeles/Stanislaus County, 2011. Demurrer sustained. Plaintiffs filed a complaint alleging that their decedent had developed mesothelioma and died as a result of exposure to asbestos from his work. Plaintiffs claimed exposure to our client’s asbestos-containing... Read more »

Eileen New v. 3M Co., et al., DeBlase Brown & Eyerly, Los Angeles/Stanislaus County, 2011. Demurrer sustained. Plaintiffs filed a complaint alleging that their decedent had developed mesothelioma and died as a result of exposure to asbestos from his work. Plaintiffs claimed exposure to our client’s asbestos-containing products. Our attorneys filed a demurrer and motion to strike. The court sustained, with leave to amend, as to all claims except those for Negligence and Strict Liability. A successful forum non conveniens motion led to the transfer of the case to Stanislaus County. Plaintiffs did not timely amend the complaint. We filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that by virtue of failing to amend the complaint plaintiffs had dismissed all the causes of action against our client except those as to negligence and strict liability and that there was nothing to support plaintiffs’ punitive damages claims. The court granted the motion with leave to amend. Again, plaintiffs failed to timely amend. Thus, the only remaining claims against our client are for negligence and strict liability, with no claim for punitive damages.... Fold Read more »

Robbins: Defense trial verdict on behalf of physician in a claim alleging failure to monitor patient (also a physician) taking prescription medication; 2011.

John Lewis Jones v. Air & Liquid Systems, et al., Simon Eddins & Greenstone, Los Angeles/MDL, 2011 FRCP 12(b)(6) motion granted and Demurrer sustained. Plaintiffs John and Karen Jones filed a personal injury action in Los Angeles claiming that Mr. Jones had developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure... Read more »

John Lewis Jones v. Air & Liquid Systems, et al., Simon Eddins & Greenstone, Los Angeles/MDL, 2011 FRCP 12(b)(6) motion granted and Demurrer sustained. Plaintiffs John and Karen Jones filed a personal injury action in Los Angeles claiming that Mr. Jones had developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos from thermal insulation, gaskets, packing, and other materials during his service in the U. S. Navy. Co-defendants removed the case to federal court before any responsive pleadings were filed. We filed a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss on the client’s behalf. The federal district court granted the motion but failed to sign and enter the order before the case was transferred to the MDL in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. We were persistent on the client’s behalf in seeking to obtain a formal signed order dismissing the claims against the client. After a great deal of briefing, including discussion of whether the MDL as an equal to the Central District of California could refuse to enter an order which the Central District of California had already made orally, the MDL upheld the prior order and entered a formal written order dismissing the client from the case.

In the meantime, plaintiffs had filed a second personal injury action in Los Angeles that was identical to the first except in the defendants that they named and served. Mr. Jones died shortly after the MDL entered the order dismissing our client from the federal case. His attorneys filed an amended complaint in Los Angeles to convert that personal injury action to a survival and wrongful death action. When they did so, they added our client as a defendant to that action. We filed a demurrer and motion to strike arguing that the case was barred by res judicata since it involved the same plaintiffs, the same underlying facts, and the same claims as those that had been asserted and dismissed in the federal case. The Los Angeles court agreed with our arguments and dismissed the client from the state court case as well.... Fold Read more »

Jesse Davis v. CBS Corp., et al., Simon Eddins Greenstone, Los Angeles, 2011. Motion to Apply Texas law granted and MSJ granted.> Plaintiffs claimed their deceased mother contracted mesothelioma from her husband’s work at a plant in Texas between 1952 and 1978. The only evidence against the client was from... Read more »

Jesse Davis v. CBS Corp., et al., Simon Eddins Greenstone, Los Angeles, 2011. Motion to Apply Texas law granted and MSJ granted.> Plaintiffs claimed their deceased mother contracted mesothelioma from her husband’s work at a plant in Texas between 1952 and 1978. The only evidence against the client was from a co-worker who had testified in another case years ago in which he had disavowed knowledge of the client’s products being used at the facility and who in any event was unable to place asbestos dust from the client’s products in the decedent’s home or anywhere that may have caused decedent to be exposed. On the client’s behalf, we filed a motion to apply Texas law which was granted. The motion to apply Texas law had not yet been heard at the time we filed the motion for summary judgment and so we made the motion under Texas law and alternatively under California law. The court found that the client had met its burden under both California and Texas law and plaintiffs had failed to produce evidence to shift the burden back to the client. The motion for summary judgment was granted as to all claims against the client.... Fold Read more »

Thomas Metcalf v. Parker Hannifin Corp., et al., Brayton Purcell, San Francisco, 2011. Demurrer sustained followed by voluntary dismissal. Plaintiff with confirmed mesothelioma claimed exposure to client’s product. We demurred to the complaint. Prior to the hearing, Mr. Metcalf’s deposition commenced... Read more »

Thomas Metcalf v. Parker Hannifin Corp., et al., Brayton Purcell, San Francisco, 2011. Demurrer sustained followed by voluntary dismissal. Plaintiff with confirmed mesothelioma claimed exposure to client’s product. We demurred to the complaint. Prior to the hearing, Mr. Metcalf’s deposition commenced. He provided minimal and weak testimony as to possible use of the client’s products and no evidence to support a conclusion that any such products contained asbestos. Following the court’s order sustaining our client’s demurrer and in the face of the weak deposition testimony, plaintiff voluntarily dismissed his claims against our client rather than amend the complaint to cure the defects.... Fold Read more »

Jack Norek v. CBS Corp., et al., Waters Kraus & Paul, Los Angeles - 2011. Voluntary dismissal in face of pending demurrer. Mr. Norek filed a complaint alleging that he had contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos and claiming exposure to our client’s product. We filed a demurrer and motion to strike... Read more »

Jack Norek v. CBS Corp., et al., Waters Kraus & Paul, Los Angeles - 2011. Voluntary dismissal in face of pending demurrer. Mr. Norek filed a complaint alleging that he had contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos and claiming exposure to our client’s product. We filed a demurrer and motion to strike. Plaintiffs agreed to a dismissal in the face of the pending motions.... Fold Read more »

Carlos Stapleton v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., Waters Kraus & Paul, San Diego, 2011. Voluntary dismissal in face of FRCP 12(b)(6) motion. Mr. Stapleton and his wife filed a complaint alleging that he had developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos during his service in the U.S. Navy and claiming... Read more »

Carlos Stapleton v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., Waters Kraus & Paul, San Diego, 2011. Voluntary dismissal in face of FRCP 12(b)(6) motion. Mr. Stapleton and his wife filed a complaint alleging that he had developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos during his service in the U.S. Navy and claiming exposure to our client’s product. The case was removed to federal court and we filed a FRCP Rule 12(b)(6) motion on our client’s behalf. Plaintiffs agreed to dismiss our client in the face of the pending motion to dismiss.... Fold Read more »

Margo Sommerfeld v. AGCO Corp., et al., Simon Eddins Greenstone, Los Angeles, 2011. Voluntary dismissal. Plaintiffs filed a complaint alleging that their decedent had died of mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos and that he had exposure to our client’s product. The only percipient witnesses identified in... Read more »

Margo Sommerfeld v. AGCO Corp., et al., Simon Eddins Greenstone, Los Angeles, 2011. Voluntary dismissal. Plaintiffs filed a complaint alleging that their decedent had died of mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos and that he had exposure to our client’s product. The only percipient witnesses identified in discovery responses were the plaintiff sons of decedent. Plaintiffs agreed to dismiss our client in response to our multiple notices of deposition of plaintiffs and our pending motion to compel those depositions.... Fold Read more »