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FEATURED VERDICT: TOXIC TORT

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Ocampo, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al(Alameda Cty Super Ct. No. RG19041182): On September 3, 2020 a jury entered a verdict in favor of remaining defendant Honeywell International Inc. in the nation’s first case held entirely by video conference. Defendants objected to this virtual trial, however it was allowed to go forward based on the plaintiff’s age and life expectancy due to his medical condition. Plaintiffs claimed that Ricardo Ocampo developed mesothelioma after being occupationally exposed to asbestos-containing brake pad linings manufactured by defendant Honeywell during his employment with various auto dealerships. Plaintiff claimed that none of the dealerships that he worked at followed the OSHA safety procedures which would have required the use of respirators, hazmat suits and filtered vacuums. Honeywell denied plaintiff’s claims, challenging the link between Ocampo’s exposure to brake linings and his mesothelioma. During trial, Honeywell filed a “Notice of irregularities”, nothing that jurors were inattentive, including a juror who was apparently watching the trial from bed. Jurors were admonished to only deliberate in the “Zoom Breakout Room” and were instructed to not allow anyone else in their rooms during the deliberations process, including “caring for pets”. Plaintiffs were represented by the Paul Law Firm