Robert W. Johnson & Associates was retained to provide economic testimony quantifying the present cash value of the lost wages, benefits and household services as a result of his shortened life expectancy case.
Location: Oakland, California
Case: Fred Ockerman, et al., vs. Owens Corning, et al.
Court: Alameda County, California Superior Court, No.813305.
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Gordon Greenwood, Philip Harley; Kazan, McClain, Edises, Simon & Abrams, Oakland, California.
Case Synopsis: Fred Ockerman, a 54-year-old salesman for Siding World, was diagnosed with asbestos-caused mesotheleoma cancer in March of 1999. Despite aggressive treatment, his doctors estimated that he would prematurely die by June of 2001 -- shortening his life expectancy by approximately 23 years. In the three years prior to diagnosis, Mr. Ockerman’s earning oscillated between a low of $51,900 and a high of $54,600.
In addition, while the company’s benefits plan did include medical, dental, 401K and profit sharing, the company would not disclose their cost to provide their fringe benefits.
Expert Consultation: Mr. Johnson testified that in Mr. Ockerman’s case his earnings capacity could be best estimated by the average earnings over the prior three years ($53,093) and that his work-life was at least to age 65. The value of the company-paid fringe benefits was estimated using the data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Fringe Benefits” Report. This was the employer-paid portion only. Mr. Ockerman’s lost lifetime future social security payments were determined by calculation formulas from Social Security. The total economic damages were $983,532 plus future medical expenses.