Gordon & Rees San Diego partners Jason Meyer and Todd Konold obtained a defense verdict following a seven-week jury trial in Riverside Superior Court.
The case involved claims that Meyer's long-term client, an environmental services company, did not properly complete an asbestos abatement job at the plaintiff’s house. The plaintiff alleged the company left pieces of vinyl asbestos tile, asbestos-containing mastic, and mastic remover in the slab cracks, and claimed the mastic remover created dangerous levels of volatile organic compounds in the house. She claimed she was extremely sensitive to smells and argued that the only feasible remedy was to demolish and rebuild her house. In addition to claims of negligence, breach of contract, and nuisance, the plaintiff also made claims of fraud and deceptive practices against the environmental services company, which claims carried potential exposure to punitive damages, treble damages, and attorneys’ fees.
The case involved approximately 35 witnesses, most of whom had not been deposed prior to trial. Meyer elected not to call a single defense expert, but instead presented a case of deception, fraud and witness tampering by the plaintiff. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the company after concluding the plaintiff and her experts lacked any credibility.
Prior to trial, the plaintiff demanded $750,000 and insisted on pursuing her case through trial, despite a $200,000 settlement offer by the company. The plaintiff now faces a six-figure judgment against her for the company’s litigation costs and expert fees.