Vanni, et al v. AMF Bowling Centers, Inc., et al.

Asbestos Case Fact Sheet

Jury Awards $4.4M Asbestos Verdict to Family of a Former Bowling Alley Owner Who Contracted Pericardial Mesothelioma

Case Summary

Donald Vanni, born and raised in Arcata, Calif., co-owned Arcata Bowl bowling alley for 30 years with his brother. From 1957 to 1986, Donald and his brother operated the family business trading off opening and closing shifts and splitting the duties. The Arcata Bowl sold bowling balls, and Donald was the one responsible for drilling custom-fit holes into the balls. One of the brands that the Vannis sold was Ebonite which, from 1967 to 1978, added asbestos to the core of its plastic (polyester) balls. Honeywell was the supplier of asbestos to Ebonite from 1967 to at least 1972, using the asbestos-laden brake lining dust from Honeywell’s brake manufacturing plant in Troy, NY. Donald was diagnosed with pericardial mesothelioma in 2012. He died of the asbestos cancer in 2013, leaving behind two adult sons and his wife of 55 years.


April 19, 2019
$4,397,716 award
Liability: Honeywell 40%


One of the first verdicts in a case involving pericardial mesothelioma–a rare form of mesothelioma that affects the lining of the heart.
The jury considered but unanimously rejected Honeywell’s defense that asbestos does not cause pericardial mesothelioma.

Case Information
Case No. BC544355 / JCCP 4674; Vanni, et al v. AMF Bowling Centers, Inc., et al.
Trial length: 7 days Jury deliberation: 5 Hours


Los Angeles Superior Court
Hon. Michele Flurer, presiding

Plaintiffs Experts

Drew Brodkin, MD
Steve Compton, PHD
Barry Horn, MD
David Fractor, PHD

Defense Experts

James Crapo, MD
Suresh Moolgavkar, PHD
Renee Kalmes, CIH
Sheldon Rabinowitz, PHD

Plaintiffs’ Counsel

Defense Counsel

  • McDermott Will & Emery (New York)
    Jennifer Filipazzo
  • McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
    Steve Hoeft

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

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