$22.1M Verdict Animating Worker’s Exposure to AsbestosJoseph Satterley, Esq., Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, Oakland, CA
Joseph Satterley - one of the most highly accomplished asbestos attorneys in the United States - convinced a jury to add $4.6M in punitive damages to a $17.5M mesothelioma verdict after two mineral companies distributed asbestos-ridden talc products for decades without warning customers, which resulted in the death of a retired paint maker.
The most challenging aspect to any asbestos case is proving liability for an event that happened decades in the past, which is how long it typically takes mesothelioma symptoms to develop from asbestos inhalation. However, mesothelioma is caused only by inhaling asbestos, and the two Defendant companies knowingly delivered talc that contained asbestos in a “dusty,” inhalable form to the Plaintiff's company.
For more than 20 years, the Plaintiff would pour this dusty material into a mixer that would blow the talc up and around his face. The Plaintiff's co-worker provided a powerfully in-depth testimony about the direct level of exposure he and the Plaintiff unknowingly faced almost every day throughout the 70's, 80's, and early 90's. He described the talc as “the dustiest product that we used.”
When I was dumping bags of talc, or when I saw others dumping talc, it sometimes got so dusty you couldn’t see. The agitator inside the mixing tank needs to be spinning when dumping in talc, and so the talc would float up into the air and around my face when I dumped it in the tanks. When I saw [the Plaintiff] dumping talc throughout that time, it was just as dusty.
Witness Statement, Plaintiff's Co-Worker
Mr. Satterley understood the importance of reinforcing this testimony with an animation that would anchor the jurors' understanding of the Plaintiff's degree of exposure, while magnifying the level of negligence shared between the two Defendants who distributed this deadly product without warning. We created the following animation to help Mr. Satterley achieve his strategic visual objectives.
The animation depicts a recreation of the Plaintiff's step-by-step routine in pouring a 50-pound bag of talc - as described by his coworker. As the bag is opened, the 3D character (modeled after the Plaintiff) empties the contents into the mixer, which causes the air to be filled with a powdered substance containing asbestos fibers.
The strategic visual reinforced Mr. Satterley's case with a vivid depiction of the witness' testimony while magnifying the danger that the Plaintiff unknowingly faced for decades.
It also helped jurors ultimately decide that negligence on behalf of both Defendants was a substantial factor in causing the Plaintiff's mesothelioma. In regards to punitive damages, jurors also found that both defendants failed to adequately warn customers about the dangers posed by their products, and they found that the lack of warning contributed substantially to the Plaintiff's injuries and death.
High Impact is my go-to visual strategy company when it comes to my high-dollar cases. I can always count on High Impact to produce compelling and accurate animations. Clearly, their work is the best in the business.