Walmach, et. al. v. Aqua-Chem, et. al.

Case Summary

60-year-old Richard Walmach was a career machinist mate who died of malignant pleural mesothelioma in June 2006. Although Walmach did not work directly on boilers and steam generators, he was often present while the asbestos insulation was chiseled away from the units being repaired. Thus, he breathed asbestos particles almost daily over a 37-year career. The jury rejected the defense case that Walmach’s exposure to Foster Wheeler’s products was completely unrelated to his eventual illness and death. Walmach’s testimony was offered posthumously via video deposition.


May 23, 2007
$5.2M total award, including $2.0M in punitive damages
$3.2M award for damages
$950.9k in economic damages
$1.5M to widow for loss of consortium
$350k to each of two adult daughters for loss of consortium
Foster Wheeler assessed 30% liability
An appeal filed by Foster Wheeler is currently pending


Plaintiff’s victory in a Navy asbestos exposure case
Defense counsel claimed that Foster Wheeler had never before been found to have acted with malice
Substantial damages awarded to adult children

Case Information

Walmach, et. al. v. Aqua-Chem, et. al.
Cause No. BC336186
Trial length 6 weeks Deliberation 3 days


Los Angeles County, Calif., Superior Court, Dept. 64
Hon. Kenneth R. Freeman, presiding

Plaintiff’s Experts (live testimony)

Arnold Brody, M.D., cell biologist
Samuel Hammar, M.D., pathologist
Kenneth Cohen, C.I.H, industrial hygienist

Defense Experts (live testimony)

Samuel Forman, M.D., U.S. Navy expert

Plaintiff’s Counsel

Waters Kraus & Paul, LLP, Los Angeles, California
Sean Tracey (lead)
Kevin Loew
C. Andrew Waters
Mike Armitage
John S. Janofsky

Defense Counsel

Brydon, Hugo & Parker, LLP, San Francisco, California
John R. Brydon, Charles S. Park

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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