Davis, et. al. v. American Standard, et. al.

Case Summary

74-year-old Jack Davis served as a fireman and boiler tender for 4 years during the Korean War. Following his honorable discharge in 1955, he worked briefly for American Pipe and Steel, and Sound Control Company, before being hired by Shell Oil, and later, Philip Petroleum and Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. Davis was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in January 2007, which the jury attributed to his Navy tenure and subsequent employment as a pipefitter and instrument man, where he was repeatedly exposed to asbestos-coated gaskets and parts. He clearly identified the products as manufactured by Leslie Controls and Warren Pumps. The defense contended that responsibility for Davis’ asbestos exposure lie with the Navy, not the manufacturers.


October 12, 2007
$35.1M award, punitive damages precluded from consideration
$100k in economic damages;
$25M for pain and suffering; $10M for loss of consortium
Leslie Controls and Warren Pumps each assessed 7.1% liability
Update: On September 30, 2010 the appellate court affirmed the judgment against defendants based on reduction of the jury award from $35M to $5M.


Plaintiff’s victory in a Navy asbestos exposure case
Jury accepted that low-level exposure to asbestos in small gaskets and pump parts is sufficient to cause mesothelioma
Substantial damages awarded to relatively older plaintiffs

Case Information

Davis, et al vs. American Standard, et al
Cause No. BC367464
Trial length 4 weeks Deliberation 5.5 hours


Los Angeles County, Calif., Superior Court, Dept. 68
Hon. Mark V. Mooney, presiding

Plaintiff’s Experts (*live testimony; ** deposition)

*Arnold Brody, M.D., cell biologist
*Carl Brodkin, M.D., M.P.H., occupational medicine
*Capt. Frank Burger (U.S. Navy, ret.), Navy expert
**Kevin P. Mulvey, MD, treating physician

Defense Experts (live testimony)

Cmdr. James Delaney (U.S. Navy, ret.), Navy expert
Adm. Roger Horn (U.S. Navy, ret.), Navy expert
William Hughson, corporate industrial hygienist

Plaintiff’s Counsel

Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel, LLP, Los Angeles, California
Gary M. Paul (lead)
Brent Zadorozny
Dimitri Nichols

Dorsett Law Offices, Austin, Texas
C. Robert Dorsett

Defense Counsel

Carroll Burdick & McDonough (Warren Pumps)
James Cunningham

Gordon & Rees (Leslie Controls)
James Scadden

Disclaimer: Results obtained depend on the facts of each case. Award amounts are not actual cash amounts received by plaintiffs. Deductions are made for liens, attorney fees and expenses.

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