• $7M Verdict Reached in Lengthy Asbestos Trial
  • November 14, 2016
  • Law Firm: Waters Kraus LLP - Dallas Office
  • The plaintiff, a self-made man living the “American Dream,” should be enjoying the fruits of his hard earned labor. But, after a devastating mesothelioma diagnosis, he has been battling for justice in a drawn out asbestos trial for months.

    LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles jury ruled in favor of a Santa Rosa man and his wife concluding an asbestos trial that has taken three months to win. The plaintiff, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma a year ago, and his wife of 50 years were awarded over $7 million on October 24, 2016. Waters Kraus & Paul represents the plaintiffs, also representing them is co-counsel Worthington & Caron, PC.

    The plaintiff immigrated to America from Italy with nothing in his pocket as a teenager in the early 1960s. He lived with his uncle in San Francisco where he began using asbestos products on home remodeling projects. The plaintiff put himself through college and eventually became a banker. He married his wife, Exine, and they started a family. In his spare time, the plaintiff took on many home remodeling and repair jobs over the years. He used a variety of asbestos-containing products on his own home as well as properties that he rented out.

    Before his mesothelioma diagnosis, Mr. LaMonica was quite athletic. He skied, rode his bike, and played tennis as often as three or four times a week. In fact, he was playing tennis when he experienced his first mesothelioma symptoms in September 2015. Things moved quickly after that. He was diagnosed in October and by Christmas he had surgery and was receiving radiation treatments. Although long retired from the bank, Mr. LaMonica has still had to give up his real estate hobby and his part-time management position at the tennis/swim club.

    “Peter LaMonica immigrated to the States as a child with nothing to his name,” explained Scott Frost, lead trial attorney for the plaintiffs. “Peter has done everything right only to be diagnosed with this disease when he should be enjoying his time with his grandchildren, not fighting for his life.”

    The jury found that Mr. LaMonica was exposed to asbestos from Rich-Tex’s joint compound and that Rich-Tex should have known its product was dangerous when used. However, the jury found consumers like Mr. LaMonica were never cautioned about the hazards. Rich-Tex’s negligence and lack of warnings were said to be a substantial factor in contributing to the development of Mr. LaMonica’s mesothelioma.

    The jury awarded the LaMonicas over $7 million and holds Rich-Tex responsible for 25 percent of the liability for its part in causing Mr. LaMonica’s mesothelioma.

    The LaMonicas were represented by attorneys from Waters Kraus & Paul including Scott Frost, partner and lead trial attorney, Andrew Seitz; Caitlyn Silhan; and Rajeev Mittal. Also representing the LaMonicas were attorneys from Worthington & Caron, PC.