|Disclaimer: The articles contained herein are intended for general information
purposes only. Nothing contained in this document is legal advice, nor
should it be relied upon as such.
Poole & Shaffery, LLP Welcomes Hunt C. Braly, Esq. to the Firm
The legal team at Poole & Shaffery, LLP is pleased to announce that
we have just welcomed a new partner, Hunt C. Braly, Esq., to the firm.
Mr. Braly will be responsible for overseeing our newly established practice
areas, which will be focused on land use and governmental affairs, and
will be centrally based at our firm's Santa Clarita office location.
In the words of John H. Shaffery, the managing partner at our firm, "Mr.
Braly is an excellent addition to our firm. He has built an outstanding
professional reputation in land use and governmental affairs from Santa
Clarita to Sacramento and has achieved significant success on behalf of
his clients." From 1983 to 1992, Braly served as Chief of Staff to
California State Sen. Ed Davis, R-Santa Clarita, and has practiced law
in California since 1993. Braly is a registered lobbyist in Los Angeles
County, the City of Santa Clarita and Sacramento
As a part of our firm's efforts to execute a long-range expansion plan,
Mr. Braly will now enable Poole & Shaffery, LLP to provide additional
services to existing clients and assist a greater number of California
residents with their legal and advocacy needs. For this reason, we could
not be more excited to welcome our newest partner to the team. According
to Co-Founder David S. Poole, "this is an important step for us as
we execute our expansion strategy." In addition to representing cases
related to business litigation, business counseling, employment litigation,
construction law and commercial litigation, we now welcome the opportunity
tackle cases in the field of governmental affairs and land use.
If you are interested in discussing a related case with our newest partner,
Hunt C. Braly, Esq., we encourage you to contact our Santa Clarita office
today at (888) 595-5963. For further information, you can also reach out
to any of the Santa Clarita business lawyers at our firm. We maintain
five different offices throughout California—including Los Angeles,
Walnut Creek, Santa Clarita, San Francisco and Orange County—so
you can trust that we are not far from wherever you are.
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By: Hunt C. Braly
New Study Provides Additional Evidence Regarding Link Between Benzene Exposure
and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
A recent study has linked an increase in Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma ("NHL")
in individuals living near benzene release sights. The study, released
on July 29, 2013 in the medical journal
Cancer, was performed by individuals in the Department of Epidemiology at Emory
University in Atlanta, Georgia.
In reaching their conclusion, the authors linked and geocoded data on benzene
release sites in Georgia from 1988 to 1998. The authors used the Environmental
Protection Agency's (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), census to
tract level population statistics and NHL incidences from the Georgia
Comprehensive Cancer Registry (GCCR) from 1999 to 2008. The data indicated
that for "every mile the average distance to benzene sites increased,
there was an expected 0.31 percent decrease in the risk of NHL" and
that "NHL incidence was significantly higher in census tracts that
were closer, on average to benzene release sites."
The authors indicated that additional studies are needed from other geographic
regions and interactions between benzene and other exposures so that the
spatial patterns of NHL incidence can be examined. The authors indicated
that future studies should examine the association between the distance
to benzene release sites and NHL incidence by using "individual-level
geographic data, temporal trends, and dose-response relations between
benzene exposure and NHL" since the presence of benzene in the environment
is not enough to evaluate how much any one individual was exposed to.
Although exposure to benzene is widely recognized as a cause of leukemia,
its connection to NHL is less clear. Epidemiological studies continue
to be conducted so that a more definitive conclusion can be made regarding
the link between benzene exposure and development of NHL. The evidence
continues to grow, but benzene exposure is still not a universally accepted
cause of NHL.
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By: Sally Hosn
Not The Original Gasket? Not My Liability!
In a recent opinion, the California Court of Appeals for the Second District
granted a gauge manufacturer's summary judgment motion on the basis
that a defendant cannot be held liable for products it did not manufacturer
or supply. (Lee v. Clark Reliance Corp., No. B241656 (Calif. 2nd Dist. Ct. App., Div. 3).
Lee v. Clark Reliance Corp., No. B241656 (Calif. 2nd Dist. Ct. App., Div. 3) (Lee), plaintiff alleged
that her husband, decedent Richard Lee, developed mesothelioma as a result
of occupational exposure to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy. Decedent
removed and replaced gaskets on boiler sight-glass gauges manufactured
by defendant Jerguson Gage & Valve Company ("Jerguson").
Clark Reliance Corporation ("Clark"), as successor-in-interest
to Jerguson, filed a summary judgment motion based on lack of exposure
Clark argued that the Jerguson boiler sight-glass gauges were located in
the sight glass outside of the boiler and based upon decedent's testimony,
decedent never personally opened the sight glass gauge nor did he see
anyone else do so in his presence. The only gaskets decedent testified
working with were located outside of the sight glass. Additionally, Clark
argued that even if plaintiff worked with the internal gaskets of these
gauges, plaintiff's own expert testified that these internal gaskets
would have been replaced many times prior to decedent arriving onboard
the ship. Plaintiff's expert also testified that these replacement
gaskets would have been purchased through a bulk supplier that the U.S.
Navy had pre-approved. Therefore, the replacement gaskets were not manufactured
by Clark. Accordingly, Clark argued since it was not the manufacturer
of the replacement gaskets and there is no evidence that plaintiff worked
with or around the internal gaskets, that summary judgment was appropriate.
The trial court agreed and granted Clark's summary judgment motion.
Plaintiff's chief complaint on appeal was that since Clark did not
produce its person most knowledgeable for a deposition until two days
prior to the hearing of the summary judgment motion, the Court should
have denied the summary judgment motion. However, the Court of Appeals
properly stated that first, plaintiff's counsel did not request a
continuance of the hearing of said motion, and second, even if the deposition
proceeded in a timely fashion, plaintiff's counsel admitted at the
hearing that Clark's person most knowledgeable had no substantive
answers since their document retention policy failed to produce any responsive
records. As such, the deposition testimony would not have negated Clark's
contention that there was no exposure and no causation.
The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court decision and held that Clark
was not liable to plaintiff since a "product manufacturer may not
be liable in strict liability or negligence for injuries caused by another
manufacturer's adjacent product or replacement part used in conjunction
with defendants' product. (Lee, supra, at pp. 4917-18 citing
Taylor v. Elliott Turbomachinery Co. Inc. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 564 (Taylor), and
O'Neil v. Crane Co. (2012) 53 Cal.4th. 335 (O'Neil).) Applying,
O'Neil, the Court indicated that it was undisputed that any asbestos-containing
component part associated with the Jerguson boiler sight-glass gauges
were replaced by parts manufactured by other companies long before decedent
began his service on the U.S. Navy ship. Accordingly, Clark could not
be held liable for harm caused by another manufacturer's product.
Lee opinion is unpublished in official reports and may not be cited or relied
upon, it remains a useful source for defendant-manufacturers.
O'Neil, which the Court of Appeals in
Lee relied upon, are published opinions which may be relied on by defendants
intending to bring motions for summary judgment on the basis of causation
in which another manufacturer's product, which was used in conjunction
with defendant's product, was actually the cause of a plaintiff's
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By: Luiza Manuelian