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Robert Hutchison was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2000, a fatal cancer of the lining of the lung caused by asbestos exposure. In 1957 Mr. Hutchison worked as an insulators helper at Pacific Gas and Electric power plant in Morro Bay, CA. During that year that Mr. Hutchison worked on the boilers, Combustion Engineering, Inc., a steam boiler manufacturer and maintenance contractor, performed maintenance and supervised the use of asbestos-containing insulation on the inside and outside of the boilers. As a result of the work performed and supervised by Combustion Engineering, Inc., Mr. Hutchison was repeatedly exposed to dust from the asbestos products that were used. Additionally, as an insulators helper, he regularly used Kaylo, an asbestos-containing pipe-insulation manufactured by Owens-Illinois, Inc. He often had to cut the insulation and then sweep the residual dust and scrap from the product. This also caused him to inadvertently inhale more asbestos-containing dust. At trial, the evidence showed that Combustion Engineering, Inc. and Owens-Illinois, Inc. did not warn Mr. Hutchison of any potential health hazards associated with asbestos, nor did they take steps to reduce his asbestos exposure in any manner. The jury found that both Defendants acted negligently and with malice toward Mr. Hutchison. Further, they found that Kaylo pipe insulation was a defective and unreasonably dangerous product.
Robert I. Hutchison and Joyce Hutchison vs. Combustion Engineering, Inc., and Owens-Illinois, Inc.
Cause No. 18-215
Nolan County, Texas, 32nd Judicial District Court
Hon. Glen Harrison, presiding
Dr. Arnold Brody, Ph.D., a molecular biologist
Dr. Hector Battifora, M.D., a pathologist
Dr. Richard Lemen, Ph.D., an epidemiologist and former assistant Surgeon General of the United States
(Owens-Illinois, Inc., only)
Dr. Douglas Fowler, Ph.D, an Industrial Hygienist.
Bill Hazard, former industrial hygienist for Owens-Illinois, Inc.
Combustion Engineering, Inc. did not call any witnesses to testify.
Waters Kraus & Paul, LLP, in Dallas, Texas
Kenny Maxwell, PC, Sweetwater, Texas
Spain and Hastings of Houston, Texas (Combustion Engineering, Inc.)
Dan Spain and Jeff Hastings
Baker Botts in Dallas, Texas (Owens- Illinois, Inc.)
Morganstein and Jubelirer, LLP, in San Francisco, CA (Owens- Illinois, Inc.)
Steakley and Wetsel, Sweetwater, Texas (Owens- Illinois, Inc.)
Disclaimer – Results obtained depend on the facts of each case. Award amounts are not actual cash amounts received by plaintiffs. Deductions are made for liens, attorney fees and expenses.
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