Lawyers from Waters & Kraus (Los Angeles) and its related firm, Waters Kraus & Paul (Dallas), won a major wrongful death award in Northern California on behalf of the widow of a pipefitter who died of mesothelioma. The trial resulted in a $1.1 million verdict, awarded by an Alameda County jury.
Rajeev Mittal from Waters & Kraus and Peter Kraus and Rachel Gross from Waters Kraus & Paul represented the plaintiff, Roy Dale Hopper. Over a four-and-a-half-week trial, the team proved that asbestos-cement pipe supplied by P.E. O’Hair & Co. caused Hopper’s mesothelioma and subsequent death.
Dale Hopper was exposed to asbestos as a pipefitter and foreman. He worked on multiple pipeline projects in the Northern California area from 1960 to 1966. Such projects included the Loch Lomond Dam and the California Aqueduct, which brought drinking water and irrigation to Central Valley and Southern California. The asbestos-cement pipe used in these projects was supplied and distributed by P.E. O’Hair & Co.
According to testimony, Mr. Hopper never smoked or drank. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2015 and died just four months later. He leaves behind his wife of over 50 years and two adult children.
After two days of deliberations in August, the jury found P.E. O’Hair & Co. strictly liable for their failure to warn of the hazards of the asbestos in its pipe.
The case was Hopper, et al., vs. California Dept. of Water Resources, et al.