The last several weeks have seen a host of major verdicts in CVN-covered trials around the country, from an 8-figure award in a Nevada crash case to Johnson & Johnson scoring a pair of victories in blockbuster talc trials.
Check out some of the critical closing moments from the attorneys that keyed those and other headline-grabbing verdicts recently.
Kenneth Reilly Closing Keys Win for J&J in Trial Over Teacher’s Cancer Death
Johnson & Johnson and its Georgia-based bottler prevailed at trial over the ovarian cancer death of a retired teacher who had used the company’s Baby Powder for decades.
The plaintiffs contend asbestos in J&J talc caused Charvette Monroe’s death. But in closings, Shook Hardy Bacon’s Kenneth Reilly told jurors the lack of medical evidence linking the company's talc to Monroe’s cancer meant plaintiffs failed to ascend the metaphorical mountain they needed to summit to prove their case.
“Was she loaded with asbestos? Nope. Nope. Their expert told them background [levels of asbestos].”
Daniel Ryan's Argument Helps Deliver $11M Verdict in Deadly Drunk Driver Crash Case
Jurors awarded $11 million, including $7 million in punitives, for the 2017 death of a Nevada man involved in a crash with a drunk driver.
In closings, the Cottle Law Firm’s Daniel Ryan urged jurors to impose harsh punitives against the drunk driver, who had been imprisoned for the incident.
“The only time he says he’s sorry is when his ass is on the line at the sentencing hearing, and he doesn’t present himself here today. How do we know this isn’t going to happen again?”
Allison Brown's Closing Helps Clear J&J in Multi-Plaintiff Talc Trial
A Missouri jury cleared Johnson & Johnson last month of liability for the ovarian cancer three women claim was caused by asbestos in the company’s cosmetic talc.
During closings, Allison Brown, of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, told jurors the claims lacked objective medical evidence and were only driven by plaintiffs’ lawyers in pursuit of a big verdict.
“They have come from all over the State of Missouri to come to a St. Louis jury and ask for almost a billion dollars…. And you know why.”
Scott Frost's Closing Sets Up $22M Verdict in Secondary Exposure Asbestos Case
Jurors awarded $22 million, including $10 million in punitives, to a South Carolina woman after finding her mesothelioma stemmed from secondary exposure to asbestos.
In closings at trial against Kraft Heinz and others, the Frost Law Firm’s Scott Frost argued evidence clearly connected Kathy Weist’s mesothelioma to asbestos brought home on the clothes of her uncle and father, who had worked on insulation in factory piping.
“There’s no excuse. Negligence? This isn’t even close.”
Twila White’s Argument Helps Key $2.4M Verdict in Wrongful Termination Trial
California jurors awarded $2.4 million in damages, including $1 million in punitives, to two professors who claim they were wrongfully discharged from a California nursing school.
The professors argued they were discharged in retaliation for their involvement in a sexual harassment investigation against the school’s founder. In closings, Twila White argued the retaliatory discharge occurred in an environment rife with inappropriate conduct.
“And if we tolerate a society that allows retaliation, we’re all at risk. And we’re all at harm. We’re in harm’s way.”
Elizabeth O’Neill’s Closing Spurs Defense Win in Meso Trial
South Carolina jurors cleared water heater parts manufacturer Chromalox Inc. of liability for the mesothelioma death of a long-time plumber.
Plumber Rabon Manning’s son contended his father developed mesothelioma after years of working with Chromalox parts that contained asbestos. However, during closing arguments, Womble Bond Dickinson’s Elizabeth O’Neill told jurors claims that Manning’s son remembered shipping labels from his childhood weren’t credible.
“This is stuff that happened 40, 50 years ago. And you’re a little kid…. You’re not thinking ‘Hey. I've got to make sure I remember what’s on this box.'”
Email Arlin Crisco at email@example.com.