Nevada Jury Awards Electrician $15.6 Million in Mesothelioma Case

Dean Omar Branham Shirley LLP secures victory in Washoe County court


RENO, Nevada – The attorneys of Dean Omar Branham Shirley LLP secured a $15.6 million verdict on behalf of a Fernley, Nevada, electrician who contracted mesothelioma after working with asbestos-containing components manufactured by Eaton Corp. (NYSE: ETN).


Working as an industrial, commercial and residential electrician for more than 50 years, John Wagner maintained motor starters and controllers manufactured by Eaton/Cutler-Hammer. This work included sanding, filing, and manipulating the plastic molded housings and arc shields which, unknown to Mr. Wagner, contained asbestos.


With the trial team’s successful challenge of the majority of Eaton’s expert witness testimony, jurors in Washoe County District Judge Egan Walker’s Second Judicial District Court found Eaton responsible for Mr. Wagner’s development of malignant mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The Aug. 12 verdict totaled $15.6 million.


“To be an electrician, you must be able to identify and anticipate potential dangers, and John was an exceptional electrician who was skilled at navigating known life-threatening risks,” says trial lawyer Aaron Chapman of Dallas-based Dean Omar Branham Shirley LLP. “The asbestos content in these products was only known to Eaton, and the company made a business decision not to share that information. Because of that, a dedicated craftsman like John could not take the necessary precautions to protect himself.”


“We appreciate Judge Walker and the jury’s dedication to this case and providing John and his family with the justice they deserve.”


The case is John C. Wagner and Denise A. Wagner v. Eaton Corp., No CV19-01303 in the Washoe County Second Judicial District Court of Nevada. Representing the Wagners were trial lawyers Aaron Chapman, Benjamin Braly, Ethan Horn, and Kathy Farinas of Dean Omar Branham Shirley, LLP; and Matthew Sharp of the Law Office of Matthew Sharp.


Dean Omar Branham Shirley, LLP, is a nationally recognized trial firm that handles cases across the country for individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries or have died as a result of the irresponsible conduct of others. For more information, visit 


Media Contact:    

Rhonda Reddick


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