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Walsworth Obtains Summary Judgment in Two Personal Injury Asbestos Cases

Attorney: Judiee L. Pinkerton, Ian P. Dillon | Published 3.24.17

Walsworth obtained summary judgment in two personal injury asbestos-related cases in San Francisco Superior Court on behalf of a painting company.

In both cases, the plaintiffs claimed that they were exposed to asbestos from working near Walsworth’s client, who was performing painting work. The plaintiffs claim that they saw Walsworth’s client repairing drywall and sanding joint compounds in their presence. However, in both actions, the plaintiffs could not identify the brand or manufacturer of any joint compound allegedly worked on by Walsworth’s client. Both plaintiffs submitted declarations from their materials expert, Charles Ay, who stated that “it was more likely than not” that the plaintiffs were exposed to asbestos from Walsworth’s client because most joint compounds contained asbestos until the mid-1970s.

Walsworth moved for summary judgment arguing that there was insufficient evidence to establish that the plaintiffs were exposed to any drywall materials from Walsworth’s client, let alone one that contained asbestos. Furthermore, Walsworth presented evidence that showed not all joint compounds in that time frame contained asbestos, and referred to prior Court of Appeal’s decisions that rejected similar arguments made by plaintiff. The Court agreed and granted summary judgment in favor of Walsworth’s client.

The defense was represented by Ian Dillon and Judiee Pinkerton of the San Francisco office.