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Wife: Asbestos exposure from former husband’s work clothes








Alameda County


Superior Court of Alameda County, Oakland

Injury Type(s):

other-loss of consortium; cancer-mesothelioma

Case Type:

Toxic Torts – Asbestos; Products Liability – Asbestos, Failure to Warn

Case Name:

Rose-Marie Grigg and Martin Grigg v. Allied Packing and Supply, Inc.; Asbestos Corporation, Ltd.; Bayer Cropscience, Inc., individually and as successor in interest, parent, agent, alter ego and equitable trustee of Amchem Products, Inc. and Benjamin Foster Company; CBS Corporation, a Delaware Corporation, formerly known as Viacom Inc., successor by merger to CBS Corporation, a Pennsylvania Corporation, formerly known as Westinghouse Electric Corporation; Certainteed Corporation; Chevron U.S.A. Inc., individually and as successor in interest, parent, alter ego and equitable trustee of Standard Oil of California; Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc., individually and as successor in interest, parent, alter ego and equitable trustee of Mundet Cork Corp.; The Dow Chemical Company; E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company; Fluor Corporation; Foster Wheeler LLC; General Electric Company; Georgia-Pacific LLC, formerly known as Georgia-Pacific Corporation; J.T. Thorpe & Son, Inc.; et al.,
No. RG12629580


May 28, 2013



Martin Grigg (Male), 

Rose-Marie Grigg (Female, 82 Years)

Plaintiff Attorney(s):

Andrea C. Huston;
Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood;
Martin Grigg, Rose-Marie Grigg ■ Joseph D. Satterley;
Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood;
Martin Grigg, Rose-Marie Grigg

Plaintiff Expert(s):

Barry Horn;
CA called by
Andrea C. Huston, Joseph D. Satterley ■ Michael Ellenbecker;
Industrial Hygiene;
MA called by
Andrea C. Huston, Joseph D. Satterley ■ William Longo;
Materials Science;
GA called by
Andrea C. Huston, Joseph D. Satterley


CBS Corporation, 

Fluor Corporation, 

Riley Power, Inc., 

Shell Oil Company, 

Foster Wheeler LLC, 

Chevron U.S.A. Inc., 

Georgia-Pacific LLC, 

Owens-Illinois, Inc., 

Santa Fe Braun, Inc., 

Parker-Hannifin Corp., 

Sequoia Ventures, Inc., 

Bayer Cropscience, Inc., 

Certainteed Corporation, 

J.T. Thorpe & Son, Inc., 

General Electric Company, 

The Dow Chemical Company, 

Asbestos Corporation, Ltd., 

Rapid-American Corporation, 

Allied Packing and Supply, Inc., 

Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc., 

Union Oil Company of California, 

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, 

E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, 

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 

The Regents of the University of California

Defense Attorney(s):

Edward Casmere;
Schiff Hardin LLP;
Owens-Illinois, Inc. ■ None reported;

CBS Corporation, Fluor Corporation, Riley Power, Inc., Shell Oil Company, Foster Wheeler LLC, Chevron U.S.A. Inc., Georgia-Pacific LLC, Santa Fe Braun, Inc., Parker-Hannifin Corp., Sequoia Ventures, Inc., Bayer Cropscience, Inc., Certainteed Corporation, J.T. Thorpe & Son, Inc., General Electric Company, The Dow Chemical Company, Asbestos Corporation, Ltd., Rapid-American Corporation, Allied Packing and Supply, Inc., Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc., Union Oil Company of California, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, The Regents of the University of California ■ Eliot S. Jubelirer;
Schiff Hardin LLP;
San Francisco,
Owens-Illinois, Inc.

Defendant Expert(s):

Earl Gregory;
Industrial Hygiene;
OH called by
Edward Casmere, Eliot S. Jubelirer ■ James Lockey;
OH called by
Edward Casmere, Eliot S. Jubelirer


In 2012, plaintiff Rose-Marie Grigg, a woman in her 80s, was diagnosed with terminal mesothelioma, which is an aggressive, incurable cancer that often stems from exposure to asbestos. Grigg claimed that she contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos on the work clothes of her first husband, who had installed insulation for a San Francisco subsidiary of Owens-Corning Corp. from 1950 to 1958. The insulation, Kaylo, had been designed by Owens-Illinois, which Grigg claimed advertised the product as nontoxic and which allegedly failed to disclose the product contained asbestos. Grigg sued Owens-Illinois Inc., as well as several other companies (and their successors in interest, parents, agents, alter egos and equitable trustees) that were allegedly engaged in the business of mining, manufacturing, assembling, supplying, packaging and labeling asbestos, and products produced from asbestos, for the sale to and use by the members of the general public, as well as to other companies for use in the manufacture and supply of other products. Grigg alleged the defendants were negligent in the design, manufacture, labeling, marketing and/or warning of certain asbestos-containing products and asbestos-related insulation and building materials. She also alleged that the defendants knew or should have known that reasonably foreseeable uses of the alleged products would expose people, such as her former husband, who worked with or around products with friable asbestos, and herself, who washed his asbestos-covered clothes. The matter ultimately continued to trial against Owens-Illinois Inc. only on the claim of failure to warn. Grigg noted that she and her former husband divorced in 1965, and that her former husband later died of causes unrelated to his exposure to asbestos. However, Grigg claimed that Owens-Illinois had known since the 1930s that asbestos could be lethal, and that it deliberately failed to warn its customers and their employees. Thus, she claimed that when she would regularly shake out her husband’s work clothes (while they were still married) and then put them in the washer, that this gradually contaminated her laundry room with microscopic asbestos particles and caused her to be exposed to asbestos. Owens-Illinois denied knowing that Kaylo posed any danger to household members. It claimed that it ceased manufacturing asbestos-containing products in 1958, before the first published report of asbestos exposure causing household illness in 1965. In response, Grigg claimed that Owens-Illinois should have foreseen the harm its product caused.


Grigg was diagnosed with terminal mesothelioma in 2012. She is now 82 and lives in the Sacramento area with her current husband, plaintiff Martin Grigg. Thus, Mrs. Grigg sought recovery of damages for her future medical expenses; past and future loss of earnings, fringe benefits, pension, Social Security or household services; and past and future pain, suffering, fears, anxiety, inconvenience, mental suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and humiliation. She also sought recovery of punitive damages as a result Owens-Illinois’ alleged act of malice, oppression or fraud. Her husband, Mr. Grigg, sought recovery of damages for his loss of consortium as a result of the loss of his wife’s love, companionship, enjoyment of sexual relations, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society and moral support, from the date his wife was diagnosed with mesothelioma to the date it is projected that she will die.


The jury found that Mrs. Grigg was exposed to asbestos from Kaylo designed, manufactured or sold by Owens-Illinois; that Kaylo failed to pass the consumer expectations test; and that the defect was a substantial factor in causing Mrs. Grigg’s mesothelioma. The jury also found that Owens-Illinois knew or could have known that household members would be exposed to asbestos due to the normal intended use, application or handling of Kaylo and failed to adequately warn of asbestos-related health hazards known or knowable in light of the generally accepted scientific and medical knowledge before May 1, 1958. The jury further found that the lack of adequate warning was a substantial factor in causing Mrs. Grigg’s mesothelioma. Thus, it determined that Owens-Illinois was negligent and that this negligence was a substantial factor in causing Mrs. Grigg’s mesothelioma. The jury further found that Owens-Illinois intentionally failed to disclose to Mrs. Grigg information about Kaylo-related health hazards and intended to deceive Mrs. Grigg by concealing information about asbestos-related health hazards. Thus, the jury determined that Owens-Illinois was 34 percent liable for Mrs. Grigg’s mesothelioma, while other parties not at trial were found 66 percent liable. Of that 66-percent liability finding, 26 percent was apportioned to Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corp./FENCO/FESCO, 15 percent was apportioned to Johns-Manville, 7.5 percent was apportioned to Silicare Insulation, 5 percent was apportioned to Bay Cities Asbestos, 4 percent was apportioned to PABCO/Fibreboard, 4 percent was apportioned to Union Asbestos & Rubber/UNARCO, 2.5 percent was apportioned to Western Asbestos, and 2 percent was apportioned to Weathercoat/Chevron. In addition, the jury found that Owens-Illinois acted with malice, oppression or fraud. The jury ultimately determined that the plaintiffs’ damages totaled $27,342,500. Of the total, Mrs. Grigg was awarded $12 million in non-economic damages and $342,500 in future medical expenses and past and future loss of earnings, and Mr. Grigg was awarded $4 million in damages for his loss of consortium. Mrs. Grigg was also awarded $11 million in punitive damages against Owens-Illinois.

Martin Grigg: $4,000,000 Personal Injury: loss of society/companionship Rose-Marie Grigg: $42,500 Personal Injury: Future Medical Cost; $11,000,000 Personal Injury: Punitive Exemplary Damages; $300,000 Personal Injury: past and future loss of earnings or household services; $12,000,000 Personal Injury: non-economic damages for her pain and suffering.

Trial Information:


Ioana Petrou

Editor’s Comment:

This report includes information that was gleaned from court documents and an interview of plaintiffs’ counsel. Counsel for Owens-Illinois Inc. declined to contribute and counsel for the remaining defendants were not asked to contribute.