Silvestro v. Bondex International et. al.

Case Summary

A 74-year-old construction laborer worked with asbestos-containing products over a 31-year career. He was exposed almost daily to chrysotile asbestos contained in drywall and cement products manufactured by the defendants. During a 6-year period, while building an 1100 sq.ft. addition to his home, he also worked as a boilermaker in a commercial shipyard. This work exposed him to amosite asbestos, a common component of insulation that is known to be more toxic than chrysotile asbestos. None of the products he worked with during his career contained warnings; he did not wear protective gear. He was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in June 2005 and died in November 2005. His product identification and proper usage testimony was offered via videotaped deposition.


September 6, 2006
$15.25M award for damages
$15.0M to plaintiff for loss of care, comfort and society
$ 0.250M to plaintiff for medical expenses and lost benefits
30% liability assessed each to Kelly-Moore and Kaiser Gypsum
Jury not allowed to consider punitive damages
An appeal filed by Kaiser Gypsum is currently pending


Jurors accepted that long-term exposure to a less-potent form of asbestos (chrysotile) can cause mesothelioma, even when the victim is exposed to a more toxic type of asbestos (amosite)
Case had been dismissed in 2003

Case Information

Silvestro v. Bondex International et. al.
Cause No. BC253974
Trial length 14 days Deliberation 3 days


Los Angeles County, Calif., Superior Court, Dept. 89
Hon. Judith Chirlin, presiding

Plaintiffs’ Experts

Arnold Brody, M.D., cell biologist.
Lawrence Coskey, M.D., pulmonologist and treating physician
Samuel Hammar, M.D., pathologist
Michael Solendar, fact expert, The Solender Group

Defense Experts

I. Allan Feingold, M.D., pulmonologist
William Hughson, corporate industrial hygienist
Arthur Langer, Ph.D., geologist and mineralogist

Plaintiffs’ Counsel

Waters Kraus & Paul, LLP, Los Angeles, California
Gary Paul
John Janofsky
Michael Armitage

Doran & Murphy, LLP, Buffalo, New York
Michael Doran

Defense Counsel

For Kelly-Moore– Foley & Mansfield, Pasadena, California
Stephen Foley, John Loomis

For Kaiser Gypsum Jackson & Wallace, Los Angeles, California
Mark Sayre, Jessica Stepp

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. This case is currently pending on appeal.

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