Robert W. Johnson & Associates was retained to provide economic testimony in quantifying the present cash value of lost earning capacity and household services.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Case: Shahabi v. A.W. Chesterton Company, et al.
Court: Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles, Case No. BC 379085.
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Simona Farrise of Farrise Law Firm, Santa Barbara, California and Michael Armitage, Kevin Oliver and Benno Ashrafi of Waters & Kraus, Los Angeles, California.
Judge: The Honorable Robert H. O’Brien
Case Synopsis: Mr. Amanollah Shahabi, a 76-year-old Iranian-American engineer, worked at oil refineries for over forty years in Iran and the U.S. Mr. Shahabi specialized in pre-commissioning and commissioning oil refineries for the state run National Iranian Oil Company. Mr. Shahabi was heavily involved in operations and management of the oil refineries.
Mr. Shahabi relocated to the U.S. in the early 1980’s where he worked as a consultant while obtaining his U.S. citizenship. He later worked for Bechtel on site at the Chevron refinery in Segundo, California. Since age 65, Mr. Shahabi had retired and then returned to work several times as a consultant.
For over forty years, Mr. Shahabi was exposed to asbestos-coated and asbestos-containing parts when he worked at oil refineries. In June 2007, Mr. Shahabi was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a terminal cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
Expert Testimony: First, Mr. Johnson was asked to calculate Mr. Shahabi’s loss of future earning capacity. Mr. Johnson reviewed Mr. Shahabi’s deposition testimony which stated that Mr. Shahabi had consulting opportunities to return to work. His rate of pay, based on previous job offers as an oil and gas consultant, would have been $250/hour. Mr. Johnson then determined that Mr. Shahabi’s earning capacity would have been that of a consultant at least working quarter-time. Quarter-time could consist of either only three months per year or as little as two hours per day. Mr. Shahabi had no intention of retiring as a consultant, so Mr. Johnson calculated the loss out to his life expectancy, less two years.
Second, Mr. Johnson was asked to calculate Mr. Shahabi’s loss of future household services due to Mr. Shahabi’s injuries. These damages were calculated out to Mr. Shahabi’s life expectancy, less two years.