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Another Defense Jury Verdict In A Highly Emotional Asbestos Cancer Case

Selman Breitman lawyers convinced a Los Angeles County jury to find our drywall subcontractor client not negligent in a 19-day trial. Joel Hernandezcueva is dying of mesothelioma, a cancer of the pleura (the outer lining of the lung), at the age of 44 years. He claimed that our client was negligent in installing drywall and joint compound products that contained asbestos in the mid-1970s, and that the subcontractor was strictly liable for the defective products it installed at the large project in Irvine, California. The claims of the plaintiffs included punitive damages. Mrs. Hernandezcueva is 35 years old, and she was a plaintiff claiming loss of consortium. The couple have three children under the age of 12. Because of Mr. Hernandezcueva's young age, and the young age of his family, this was an emotionally charged trial in which the defense had to get the jury focused on the facts, and not on trying to help the Hernandezcuevas in these unfortunate circumstances .

The trial attorneys for Selman Breitman were partners Jerry Popovich and Asir Fiola, with assistance by Holly Beal and a number of staff members. The defense focused on what the client subcontractor knew about the contents of the products it was installing, it focused on the time that passed between the client's work and the claimed exposure during plaintiff's later work relating to the demolition of the drywall, as well as the responsibility of Mr. Hernandezcueva's employer for his safety at the time he was involved in the demolition work. After the plaintiffs put on their evidence, the court granted nonsuit on the claim that the subcontractor defendant was responsible in strict liability for any defects in the products it used. Ultimately, the trial team was able to get the jury to focus on the facts and the law resulting in a defense verdict finding that there was no negligence on the part of our client.


Selman Breitman provides this information for educational purposes. Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case. This information should not be construed or relied on as legal advice or to create a lawyer-client relationship.