Simon Greenstone Panatier secures first civil jury verdict since reopening of Los Angeles courts
LOS ANGELES – In the first civil jury verdict in Los Angeles County since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, Simon Greenstone Panatier trial lawyers secured a $4.8 million verdict on behalf of a 78-year-old mesothelioma victim.
A Vietnam War veteran, Willie McNeal Jr. suffers from pleural mesothelioma, a cancer of the lungs caused by asbestos exposure. Lead attorney Stuart Purdy presented evidence establishing that talc supplier Whittaker Clark & Daniels (WCD) was aware of asbestos contamination in its talc supply and linking Mr. McNeal’s 22-year daily use of Old Spice Talcum Powder to his cancer diagnosis.
For decades, WCD was one of the largest suppliers of cosmetic talc in the United States for products, including Old Spice. Talc and asbestos minerals are frequently found together in mining operations. According to trial testimony, talc extracted from WCD’s North Carolina talc mine is known to have asbestos contamination.
“While COVID concerns presented unique challenges, our trial court, with the guidance of a very detailed trial plan, maneuvered around those challenges seamlessly,” said Mr. Purdy. “Willie McNeal is an amazing man with a remarkable story who remained steadfast and patient despite the uncertainties and unknowns of the first pandemic trial in Los Angeles. He blazed a trail for many other litigants by showing justice can still be served in these uncertain times. We are happy to have been able to deliver justice for him in a timely manner while simultaneously proving a live trial can be done safely and effectively.”
Mr. McNeal was represented at trial by Mr. Purdy and Tyson Gamble of the Los Angeles office of Simon Greenstone Panatier.
The case is Willie McNeal Jr. vs. Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC698965.
About Simon Greenstone Panatier
Simon Greenstone Panatier, P.C., is a nationally recognized trial law firm with a reputation for creative and aggressive representation of clients in a wide variety of catastrophic personal injury matters nationwide.