According to Law360 (12/12/17), Richard Booker worked as a paint maker and tinter at Dexter-Midland Chemical Co. in Hayward, California from 1972 through 1993.
In August 2015, Booker was diagnosed with asbestos cancer – mesothelioma – a disease often characterized as having a long incubation period following exposure to asbestos that is often measured in decades before asbestos cancer finally emerges. In Booker’s case, his diagnosis of asbestos mesothelioma came in August, 2015 some 22 years following his last known exposure to the asbestos contained in the talc used to manufacture the paint with which the victim worked.
Booker died less than a year following his diagnosis of asbestos mesothelioma, in June of last year. He was 72.
In closing arguments submitted to the jury just prior to Thanksgiving, lead counsel for the plaintiff opined that decisions associated with use of talc in the workplace environment were made by those at the highest level of management. Plaintiff counsel submitted that management knowingly put Booker at risk without his knowledge, and without taking appropriate precautions to shield from ingesting asbestos, and to protect his health.
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The Alameda County jury arrived at the compensatory damages verdict November 27. The punitive damages award came a few weeks later, on December 11.
It is not known if there will be an appeal.
The asbestos lawsuit is Booker v. Imerys et al., Case No. RG15796166, in the Alameda County Superior Court.