Ricardo Ocampo spent 1991 though 1997 working as a car dealership maintenance worker, and he blames asbestos dust from brake pads used there for his recent diagnosis with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. Despite complications and challenges posed by conducting a jury trial in the midst of a pandemic, his $70 million personal injury lawsuit against the brake manufacturer’s parent company is in its final days.
Mesothelioma Trial is California’s First All-Zoom Jury Trial
Mr. Ocampo’s mesothelioma lawsuit is being conducted over Zoom, and that has led to numerous issues and irregularities that have raised objections from both his attorneys and from attorneys representing Honeywell, the parent company of Bendix, the brake manufacturer.
After noting jurors emailing from a different computer during the case, watching the trial from bed and displaying other examples of inattentiveness, Honeywell filed a notice of irregularities in the way the mesothelioma trial was being conducted. The case has already seen another Zoom-related issue, as the original judge had to recuse himself over a comment that he made that was heard by the jurors.
Mesothelioma Claim Centers on Asbestos in Brakes
Though Mr. Ocampo’s lawyers have argued that his peritoneal mesothelioma was caused by years of sweeping asbestos-contaminated dust from Bendix brake pads, Honeywell’s attorneys have argued that he did not prove that the brakes sold to the dealership or installed in GM cars that the dealership serviced actually contained the carcinogenic material.
Remarkably, Honeywell also submitted evidence that argued that peritoneal mesothelioma is not caused by exposure to asbestos, that brake mechanics have no higher risk of mesothelioma than that of the general population, and that Mr. Ocampo had not proven that any Bendix brake pads were ever on the dealership’s premises. Mr. Ocampo’s attorneys presented expert witness testimony indicating that asbestos dust from brake pads could have led to his terminal condition. The case will be resolved in the coming days.
If you or someone you love has a history of exposure to asbestos, you face a real risk of being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. For information on the resources available to you, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.