Iranian Company’s Appeal of $25 Million Mesothelioma Verdict Fails

Houshang and Soraya Sabetian filed a mesothelioma lawsuit against Fluor Enterprises and Middle East Fluor in 2018 after Houshang was diagnosed with the rare, testicular form of the disease. Houshang had worked for the companies from 1959 to 1979, while he was an Iranian citizen working for the National Iranian Oil Company in facilities that the companies were constructing. The jury found the companies negligent and awarded the couple a total of $25 million in damages but the companies appealed. The Court of Appeals of California upheld the original verdict and awarded the victims court costs.

Companies File “Motions for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict” in Mesothelioma Case

In response to being found responsible to both Houshang and Soraya for past noneconomic losses and for future noneconomic losses related to Houshang’s mesothelioma, the Fluor companies filed a motion asking the court to set aside the damages. They argued that there was not substantial evidence of Mr. Sabetian’s exposure to asbestos attributable to them or that exposure to asbestos causes the type of mesothelioma from which he suffered. They also asserted that the jury’s award was excessive and contrary to Iranian law.

Court of Appeals Rejects Iranian Company’s Argument Against Mesothelioma Liability

In reviewing the Fluor companies’ appeal, the court indicated that a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict should only be granted if a review showed that there was no substantial evidence in support of the decision. The court decided that the evidence pointed to Fluor being responsible for Houshang’s mesothelioma. 

The court also denied the notion that only Iranian law should apply, in part because the question of applying Iranian law was not raised at any point during the trial and in part because “there is a true conflict between Iran’s interest in compensation of a tort victim whose injury occurred in Iran in accordance with Islamic law, and California’s interest in compensation of its residents according to proof at trial.” The indicated that California’s interests would be more impaired by the failure to apply its law. 

When mesothelioma victims elect to pursue justice from those responsible for their illness, they need experienced, knowledgeable resources they can rely upon. The Patient Advocates at can provide you with the support you need. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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