Question of Casual Relationship in Regard to Lung Cancer

Defense Verdict

Case Type: Medical Malpractice - Wrongful Death
Case: Agripina Saenz as Personal Representative of the Estate of Rafael Saenz, Mike Jimenez and Elvia Jimenez v. Owens-Illinois, Inc., Kaiser Aluminum and North American Refractories Company Venue: Nueces County District Court, 319th,TX Judge: Martha Huerta

Verdict Date: 03-05-2001

PLAINTIFF(S)

Attorney: David Carl Greenstone; Waters & Kraus; Dallas,TX, for Agripina Saenz as Personal Representative of the Estate of Rafael Saenz,\ Mike Jimenez and Elvia Jimenez

Scott Kruka; Waters & Kraus; Dallas,TX, for Agripina Saenz as Personal Representative of the Estate of Rafael Saenz, Mike Jimenez and Elvia Jimenez

Troyce Wolfe; Waters & Kraus; Dallas,TX, for Agripina Saenz as Personal Representative of the Estate of Rafael Saenz, Mike Jimenez and Elvia Jimenez

Expert: Arnold Brodie Ph.D.; cell biology Mark Collela M.D.; radiology Douglas Pohl M.D.; pathology

DEFENDANT(S)

Attorney: Jorge C. Rangel; Corpus Christi,TX, for Owens-llinois, Inc., Kaiser Aluminum and North American Refractories Company

Mary Lou Strange; Vinson & Elkins; Houston,TX, for Owens-Illinois, Inc., Kaiser Aluminum and North American Refractories Company, North American Refractories Co.

Monte J English; of English & Clemons, L.L.P.; Corpus Christi,TX, for Owens-Illinois, Inc., Kaiser Aluminum and North American Refractories Company

Paul Wells; Vinson & Elkins; Houston,TX, for Owens-Illinois, Inc., Kaiser Aluminum and North American Refractories Company

Peter Moir; Baker Botts, L.L.P.; Dallas,TX, for Owens-Illinois, Inc., Kaiser Aluminum and North American Refractories Company

Taylor M Hicks, Jr.; Hicks,Thomas & Lilienstern, L.L.P.; Houston,TX, for Owens-Illinois, Inc., Kaiser Aluminum and North American Refractories Company, Kaiser Aluminum

Expert: Alan Feingold M.D; Pulmonology Doug Fowler Ph.D.; Industrial Hygene Kathryn Hale M.D.; pulmonology

Injury: Question of causal relationship in regard to lung cancer. Decedent Rafael Saenz worked at the Reynolds Aluminum plant in Gregory as a pot tender from 1952 to 1982. He died from lung cancer in 1997. His smoking history was one to 1 1/2 packs per day for 40 to 50 years. Co-worker Rudolfo Silva identified 29 asbestos products at Reynolds. Plaintiff's experts testified asbestos exposure had a synergistic effect on smoking and contributed to cause the lung cancer. Defendants experts testified Saenz did not have asbestosis; they contended the cause of his lung cancer and death was his smoking. Plaintiff Mike Jimenez worked at several refineries in Odessa where, he alleged, he was exposed to asbestos. Plaintiff Elva Jimenez, Mike's mother, alleged asbestos exposure from washing the clothes her son and her husband wore as they worked at the refineries. Plaintiffs' medical experts testified that both Elva Jimenez and Mike Jimenez had asbestosis. Their treating physician in Odessa and defendants' experts testified otherwise. Rafael Saenz allegedly died of small-cell lung cancer, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Elva Jimenez claimed she had asbestosis. Mike Jimenez also claimed asbestosis.

Verdict Information: All liability questions were answered in favor of defendants. The jury also found that decedent Saenz was contributorily negligent. 11 - 1 (9 day trial) Verdict date: 03-16-2001 Asked of jury: $5 million; Saenz - actual damages $550,000; Mike Jimenez - actual damages $600,000; Elva Jimenez - actual damages

Reprinted with permission from the SOUTH TEXAS VERDICT REPORTER (VOLUME V, ISSUE 8). © 2001 NLP IP Company. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved. #081-11-02-0001

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