Gordon & Rees partner James G. Scadden and associate Samuel D. Jubelirer of San Francisco co-wrote an article that appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of Defense Comment, a publication of the Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada.
In the article, titled “When Is It Better to Have a Claim No Doctor Will Support? Toxic Tort Statutes of Limitations,” Scadden and Jubelirer discussed how to defend claims brought by plaintiffs who allege they were exposed many years ago to chemicals that the medical or scientific communities did not accept as producing the harm asserted. “That plaintiff can avoid the statute of limitations by pleading absolute ignorance about the alleged effects of the chemical, and can even affirmatively and truthfully state that he or she tried and failed to identify the cause of his or her injuries,” the authors wrote.
“[A] defendant will have to show something more than even widespread media coverage or general public awareness of a connection (or perceived connection) between a particular chemical and health problems.” However, California Code of Civil Procedure 340.8 subd. (c)(2) “does not generally abrogate the discovery rule; a ‘suspicion of wrongdoing,’ however formed, is still all that is required to start the limitations period running,” Scadden and Jubelirer noted.
Scadden focuses his practice on defending personal injury suits involving asbestos, benzene, and dietary supplements as well as Proposition 65 compliance cases and other toxic exposure suits. He represents clients in all stages of litigation throughout California. Scadden is rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell and has been recognized by Super Lawyers in the fields of Personal Injury Defense: General, Real Estate, and Environmental.
Jubelirer defends clients in a variety of industries, including equipment, food and beverage manufacturers and retailers, against asbestos and other toxic exposure personal injury and wrongful death claims.