Sedgwick’s work in the area of asbestos litigation has spanned more than two decades. We have established groups of experienced practitioners in each of our offices who are prominently involved in this specialized practice. Because our attorneys and legal staff have been working for years on the front lines of asbestos defense, we are able to provide our clients with the best and most cost-effective defense possible.
Sedgwick defends products and premises clients in hundreds of cases involving asbestosis and mesothelioma, conspiracy to defraud through manipulation of scientific literature about the effects of asbestos, and market-share liability. Our team manages scores of asbestos cases from initial responsive pleadings through trial. Nearly every day, a Sedgwick lawyer is securing dismissals or settlements favorable to our asbestos clients.
Our attorneys have compiled extensive in-house and online research on asbestos issues, and have assembled our own broad toxicological library. Our attorneys regularly interview and depose cancer researchers, chemists, engineers, risk assessment and related experts from around the world. Members of the firm have undertaken considerable research and have written on the issues of fear of cancer and increased risk of cancer, and have presented papers at professional conferences on these topics.
Sedgwick lawyers have served, and currently serve, as both national and regional counsel for a variety of clients with asbestos cases pending against them.
Asbestos Trial Experience
Attorneys in our San Francisco office have tried 10 asbestos cases to verdict (three asbestosis and seven mesothelioma cases), and have prepared and started trials in more than a dozen cases, achieving favorable results for our clients.
Attorneys in our New Jersey office have started trial in more than 20 cases involving all types of asbestos-related diseases, going to verdict in over half of them. In the process, we obtained one of the only defense verdicts to date in New Jersey in a disputed mesothelioma case.
In 2002 and 2003, attorneys in our San Francisco and Los Angeles offices mock tried two separate severe asbestos injury cases (one mesothelioma and one lung cancer) during the course of trial preparation in both cases. Each mock trial provided useful juror feedback which was used to settle the cases for favorable amounts. Our Orange County, Dallas and Chicago offices have years of asbestos case handling experience and provide us with a stable of experienced litigators deployable across the country.
Complex Case Resolution
Following the onset of asbestos premises liability litigation in California in the early 1990s, Sedgwick represented a number oil refining companies in a joint defense group. As the same plaintiffs (generally employees of independent contractors that worked at a number of different industrial facilities) often sued more than one company in the same case, the joint defense afforded the companies substantial cost savings. The success of this joint defense over several years led to formation of a “matrix” case processing agreement with one of the more prominent plaintiffs’ firms, in which the claims were not litigated, discovery was informal, and the companies resolved the plaintiffs’ claims according to case values based on disease and exposure information. Our clients resolved thousands of cases pursuant to the matrix agreement, resulting in reduced settlement values and litigation expenses for even the most serious high exposure cases.