3M Trial Team Secured Complete Defense Verdict in Products Liability Case

November 3, 2020 02:17 PM

Brandt_Angela_2020_updated  Erfle_Nancy_2018  Brooks_Michael_2020  Miller_Byron 

IADC members Angela Beranek Brandt of Larson King, Nancy M. Erfle of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP, and Mike Brooks of Wells, Anderson & Race, LLC, along with Byron Miller of Thompson Miller & Simpson, PLLC, obtained a defense verdict in a case involving the 3M 8710 respirator after a three week in-person trial.

The case involved a living mesothelioma plaintiff who had spent his working life as an insulation worker at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. By the time of trial, all of the asbestos-containing product manufacturers, as well as another respirator defendant, had resolved the cases against them.

The plaintiffs alleged that the 8710 respirator was defectively designed and that the company had not provided adequate warnings when the plaintiff used the product from 1972-1980, thus causing his mesothelioma. The 3M team defended the case by teaching 3M’s decades-long history of innovation in respiratory products — innovation that continues today, with 3M increasing global N95 respirator production to 2 billion per year by year’s end.

The jury found for 3M, concluding that there was no design or warning defect in the product. While the jury was selected remotely by Zoom, the trial was held in person in a convention center in Bellevue, Washington, converted into a “courthouse” to handle civil trials. Although some witnesses were called via Zoom, 3M brought its witnesses live while following COVID-19 guidelines. All participants (court staff, attorneys, witnesses, and jurors) wore masks throughout and jurors were seated so as to socially distance while listening to the evidence.

Many supported this effort including Dan Adams from Larson King, Bernadette Catalana from MG&M, Trisha Volpe from Barnes & Thornburg, and Litigation Insights.

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