Robert W. Johnson & Associates was retained to prepare a LIFE ACTIVITY CALENDAR that, admitted through lay testimony, would graphically illustrate how the asbestosis cancer was literally strangling the "color" out of the plaintiff's life-style.
Location: San Francisco, California
Case: Phillips v. Abex
Court: San Francisco, California, Superior Court No. 927408.
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Brayton, Gisvold & Harley, by Attorney Philip A. Harley, Novato, California.
Judge: William Cohill
Case Synopsis: Mr. Edward Phillips, an 80-year-old retired shipyard worker, suffered from end stage asbestosis as a result of asbestos exposure. In the year prior to his cancer's manifestations, according to the testimony of his wife, Mr. Phillips was a very active husband and grandfather. He would take long walks every day, dine out at least twice a week, go fishing almost once a month, and never missed a San Francisco 49'ers home football game. His biggest joy was the time spent with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, which was at least once a month. As a result of the asbestosis, however, he was totally bedridden and on oxygen.
Through the use of the LIFE ACTIVITY CALENDAR Checklist, Mrs. Phillips was able to clearly catalog the activities of Mr. Phillips. At the trial the LIFE ACTIVITY CALENDAR was admitted into evidence, and became an integral part of Mrs. Phillips' testimony. There was no cross-examination of Mrs. Phillips' testimony.
Results: The defense offered less than $10,000 pre-trial and asked the jury for a defense verdict. The jury reached a verdict of $1,000,000. This was the largest verdict for the shortened life expectancy of a plaintiff over 70 in San Francisco.
Attorney Comments: "The LIFE ACTIVITY CALENDAR made a critical difference and had a significant impact on the jury. It held the jury's attention and dispelled the myth that 80-year old retirees only watch television, take "geritol" and can barely generate enough energy to change the channel. The jury could literally see how the asbestosis was strangling the life out of Mr. Phillips."