For those who claim that Washington juries are reluctant to provide large verdicts on behalf of those suffering from mesothelioma, it's time to eliminate that myth. A recent Seattle verdict has shown us otherwise.
Last Tuesday, I watched my dear friend from law school, Jessica, present a closing argument in anasbestos trial. Her client had been exposed to asbestos, resulting in him having developed the fatal disease of mesothelioma. Several defendants settled, but Caterpillar took the matter through trial to verdict. It was apparent to me that the jury got that the exposure to asbestos was not the victim's fault, but that it was the manufacturer's fault. After a hard fought three week trial in King County Superior Court in downtown Seattle, the jury rendered a $6 million verdict against Caterpillar. It's no easy feat overcoming all of the obstacles put in front of plaintiffs by various manufacturers. But the effort is what one needs to do to get a just result. I couldn't be happier for Jessica.
The next day Jessica was presenting at a conference for asbestos attorneys. The first thing she did was give a shout out to me for having given her some trial tips that she claimed helped her. Say what? Well, I had completely forgotten about our trial strategy chat. Talk about a class act. Many a trial lawyer would be taking this opportunity to shine in the sun or to pound their own chest. But as Jessica has shown us, it's not about the attorney, it's about the client. On this day in a Seattle courtroom, it was a good day for the family of a victim of asbestos.