OTGB wins the first asbestos case tried before Federal Judge Staci Yandle in the Southern District of Illinois

After nearly two weeks of trial, the jury in the ANDREW KOCHERA case returned a defense verdict for O’Connell, Tivin, Griffin & Burns, LLC.’s client in Federal court.

Congratulations to Daniel Griffin, Sean Fergus and Simon Purnell of OTGB who successfully defended our client.  Mr. Kochera claimed to have developed asbestosis from his work with our client’s insulation, cement and packings while in the U.S. Navy and aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1950s. His work included installation and removal of packing, mixing cement, applying insulation and sweeping up asbestos containing debris. Plaintiff asked the jury to award $5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages.  The jury of 8 deliberated for less than two hours and found our client not liable.

The case was tried before Honorable Staci M. Yandle in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois located in Benton, Illinois.  Mr. Kochera’s case was originally filed in Madison County, Illinois but was removed to Federal court by a co-defendant.  Our client was the only defendant remaining in the case at the time of trial.

Plaintiffs called Dr. Rosner, Dr. Vuskovich and Jerome Spear, CIH as expert witnesses in their case.

Our client called Dr. Crapo, Dr. Madl and Captain McCloskey.

Plaintiff was represented by Ben Vinson, Jr. of the Vinson Law Firm in Tampa, Florida and Clay Zelbst of the Sloan, Bagley, Hatcher & Perry Firm in Longview, Texas.GriffinSean