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STEINER v. PNEUMO ABEX

After a 33 day trial a Santa Barbara jury returned a defense verdict for H&R’s client Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. Plaintiff, Richard Steiner at the age of 49 was diagnosed with lung cancer.  He and his wife sued 18 defendants.  Plaintiffs sought damages from the defendants based upon Plaintiff, Richard Steiner, claimed 9 years of extensive and cumulative occupational exposure to respirable asbestos fibers during his high school auto shop class, and from his work at two Chevron service stations as well as non-occupational work on family and friends vehicles.   Mr. Steiner admitted to smoking between 2 to 5 cigarettes per day.  Plaintiffs alleged that Mr. Steiner’s lung cancer was caused in part by his exposure to asbestos-containing brakes, clutches and/or gaskets manufactured, supplied and/or distributed by the 4 remaining defendants, Pneumo Abex, Ford Motor Company, Nissan North America, and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., and in part by his smoking.  Plaintiffs alleged that the combination of the asbestos exposure and the smoking had a synergistic effect in increasing Mr. Steiner’s risk of developing lung cancer. The Honorable Thomas P. Anderle presided over the case.  Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., was represented by Craig Winterman, Tara Jane Flynn and Chuck Finberg.  Plaintiffs were represented Simona Farrise, Carla Minnard, Jennifer Johnson and Sharon Arkin.