San Francisco, CA LAWFUEL – The Law News Network February 18, 2006 — A jury has awarded $1,083,000 to Merle Sandy, a 60–year–old retired pipefitter suffering from asbestosis and colon cancer caused by his on–the–job exposure to asbestos. Asbestosis is a painful scarring of the lungs that causes shortness of breath and reduced lung capacity. It is not curable. Mr. Sandy underwent surgery for the colon cancer, but the tumor has spread to his liver and his condition remains serious.
The defendant, Exxon Mobil Corporation, is the former owner and operator of an oil refinery located in Benicia, California, where Merle Sandy did industrial maintenance work. He was exposed to dangerous levels of asbestos while removing insulation and working with asbestos gaskets, packing and welding blankets.
Employed by an independent contractor, Mr. Sandy worked at the Benicia refinery from 1970 through 1974. He also worked at the refinery in 1977 and 1979. Although Exxon Mobil personnel oversaw Mr. Sandy’s work, the company did not disclose that the products he was working with were hazardous, or provide information about the location of asbestos at the refinery, the plaintiff said. Exxon Mobil also did not instruct Mr. Sandy about how to work safely to prevent asbestos exposure or provide him with respiratory protection.
The testimony of Exxon Mobil’s medical officials, as well as internal documents, established that the company was fully aware of the risk of disease posed by asbestos dust at its refinery properties as early as 1937, according to the plaintiff.
Christopher Andreas and Andrew Chew of the Novato, CA office of Brayton Purcell represented Merle Sandy at trial. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Gail Dekreon presided. The case is Merle Sandy v. Exxon Mobil Corporation (San Francisco Superior Court, No. 324212).
About Brayton Purcell:
For over 20 years, Brayton Purcell has helped clients protect their legal rights in the face of devastating losses such as illness, injuries, and harm to family members. The law firm enjoys a national reputation for the high quality of its personal injury and product liability work, particularly in the areas of asbestosis, asbestos colon cancer, asbestos lung cancer, mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases.
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