Court of Appeals Allows $1.9 Million Mesothelioma Award to Stand in Bowling Ball Case
When Barbara Vanni and her sons filed a mesothelioma lawsuit against Honeywell International, Inc., the details of their case garnered a great deal of attention because it was so unusual. Unlike the majority of asbestos lawsuits which involve workplace exposure in factories, plants, or construction sites, Donald Vanni owned and operated a bowling alley, and his exposure to asbestos came from having drilled bowling balls that contained asbestos filler manufactured and supplied by Honeywell’s predecessor, the Bendix Corporation. The jury that heard the case awarded the family $1.9 million in damages, but Honeywell appealed that decision. Last month the Court of Appeals of California allowed the decision to stand.
Honeywell Argues Against Expert Witness Testimony in Mesothelioma Lawsuit
When Honeywell filed its appeal, they argued that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict that is had negligently caused Vanni’s mesothelioma. They cited several points to support their appeal, including that there was no proof that he had specifically been exposed to asbestos that came from Bendix, that the asbestos in the bowling balls would have been sufficient to have caused his illness, and that any asbestos that he was exposed to was a factor in his diagnosis of pericardial mesothelioma.
Judges Dismiss Each Argument Against Mesothelioma Verdict
In its analysis of Honeywell’s arguments, the Court of Appeals meticulously addressed each of the company’s arguments against liability in Vanni’s peritoneal mesothelioma. They pointed to irrefutable evidence that Bendix had supplied asbestos dust to the bowling ball company Ebonite to use as an ingredient to fill its plastic bowling balls; to testimony from expert witnesses on both sides about the presence of asbestos dust in the balls; and to undisputed evidence that Donald had drilled the bowling balls in a small unventilated space for extended periods of time. The court also rejected Honeywell’s arguments about asbestos being the cause of his illness. In its concluding remarks the court noted that the company’s arguments “ignores the standard of review which requires us to view the evidence in the light most favorable to the Vannis, notwithstanding evidence contradicting the verdict.” The family will keep the compensation that the jury awarded them.
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