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July 2019

Southern California Defense Team Obtains Dismissal of Product Liability Suit

Attorneys Jason Meyer, Todd Konold, and Christine Gracco successfully obtained a dismissal of a plaintiff’s personal injury lawsuit venued in Los Angeles Superior Court in which the plaintiff claimed he suffered permanent and life-threatening lung injuries resulting from his exposure to diacetyl, a flavoring chemical.  The Gordon & Rees team represented a diacetyl supplier, which was the primary target in the litigation, having supplied a majority of the diacetyl to the plaintiff’s employer during the period of the plaintiff’s employment.  The plaintiff sought millions of dollars in damages in addition to punitive damages against the defendants, and the case had been scheduled for a 30-day jury trial.

The defense team aggressively prepared the case for trial.  After the trial date was continued to a date past the five-year anniversary of the case, the defense team filed a motion to dismiss the case based on a rarely-invoked statute that requires the case to be brought to trial within five years of the filing date. The plaintiff argued the statute was not applicable given various alleged exceptions to this five-year rule, and even claimed the defense team was acting in bad faith for filing the motion in the first place. The court held that the motion was well-founded and ultimately granted the motion to dismiss, dismissed the case, and ordered that judgment be entered in favor of the defendants.

Christine J. Gracco
J. Todd Konold
Jason F. Meyer