Thousands of asbestos cases. More than 70 trials to verdict. Two critical appellate court opinions on federal preemption. A win rate over 90%. And we do all that with a lean team that never slow-walks, over-staffs, or over-bills litigation.
Even in the most difficult jurisdictions in the nation, WTO lawyers win for defendants in asbestos litigation. And when the facts are bad and a case may be unwinnable, we enter our appearance and immediately begin to minimize the risk our clients face.
Clients such as General Electric, Crane Co., Foster Wheeler, Pneumo Abex, Dana Corp. Velan Valve, and Research-Cottrell choose WTO as national litigation and trial counsel. It’s no wonder why. WTO attorneys are renowned for creatively defending personal injury and product liability tort claims related to asbestos exposure. WTO is a go-to trial defense firm in the asbestos world, especially when the situation looks bleak and time is running out.
WTO lawyers have developed and implemented nationwide strategies to successfully defend more than 30,000 asbestos cases, managing counsel across the country to do so. Our team also tries the direst of those cases when the stakes are extreme and in the most plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions, including Cook County, Newport News, Philadelphia, Baltimore, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, to name a few.
WTO lawyers routinely speak at asbestos conferences on topics including: the Navy's state-of-the-art knowledge and why warnings would have no impact Navy cases; how to prepare for and defend depositions of corporate representatives; why plaintiffs' post-OSHA failure to warn claims should always fail; and how to defeat plaintiffs' claims that each and every exposure to asbestos irrespective of dose contributed to the development of mesothelioma.
WTO has a comprehensive asbestos trial and coordinating counsel team that is ready to travel anywhere in the country to coordinate litigation and take challenging cases to verdict and support those verdicts on appeal.
Articles and Presentations
- Winslow v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp. et al., Sup. Ct. Wash. Pierce Cnty. (No. 20-2-05066-6) - Won a defense verdict for Pneumo Abex LLC as co-counsel in a three-week asbestos wrongful death trial in Pierce County, Washington. Due to COVID restrictions, the trial was held in a converted gymnasium in a juvenile detention facility and livestreamed across the country.
- Won summary judgment for General Electric in a seven-figure asbestos case in plaintiff-friendly Ramsey County, Minnesota. The win came just three weeks before trial.
- Won dismissal for a Colorado-based manufacturer in an asbestos product liability case in the plaintiff-friendly "judicial hellhole" of St. Clair County, Illinois. WTO asserted jurisdictional defenses at the pleading stage and later won dismissal after the plaintiff's deposition.
- Sawyer v. Foster Wheeler (4th Cir. 2017) - Won for Foster Wheeler in an asbestos failure to warn case involving the government contractor defense. The Fourth Circuit reversed and remanded to the district court following WTO's arguments that evidence set forth by Foster Wheeler was sufficient to demonstrate a colorable defense establishing federal jurisdiction.
- Ripley v. Foster Wheeler (4th Cir. 2016) - Won for Foster Wheeler in an asbestos failure to warn case involving the government contractor defense. The Fourth Circuit reversed and remanded to the district court following WTO's arguments in this matter of first impression.
- During the appeal of an adverse verdict in a multimillion-dollar trial in which jurors were given the wrong instruction, plaintiffs offered to settle 11 mesothelioma cases for six figures total, just to get WTO out of ongoing litigation involving other defendants.
- Obtained midtrial settlement—for less than the cost of defense—for Foster Wheeler in a trial that went to an eight-figure verdict against the other defendant. The plaintiff simply wanted WTO out of the case.
- Obtained four-figure midtrial settlement for Dana Corp. as plaintiff closed its case in Cook County, IL.
- Obtained summary judgment for General Electric Company in an asbestos liability case in the U.S.D.C. for the District of Wyoming.
- Bancroft v. Dana (Penn. Philadelphia C.P. 2013) - Brought in just three weeks before jury selection, WTO won a complete defense verdict for Dana Corporation in an asbestos wrongful-death trial in Philadelphia.
- Mulcahy v. Rapid American (Ill. Cook Cnty. Cir.Ct.) - Won a jury verdict in Cook County, Illinois, for General Electric in an asbestos duty to warn case involving power plant land turbines.
- Pelletier v. Alfa Laval (Cal. Sup.Ct.) - Won a defense jury verdict for Leslie Controls, the sole remaining defendant at trial after other defendants settled. A jury deliberated for just 20 minutes before deciding our client was not liable for the plaintiff's mesothelioma.
- Stewart v. Foster Wheeler (D. Iowa 2008) - Won a defense jury verdict for Foster Wheeler in the first asbestos wrongful death case tried to a verdict in Iowa in over 10 years.
- Negotiated five-figure settlement for GE during Phase 2 of a reverse bifurcated trial in which the plaintiff won Phase 1 but was awarded only 4.2% of demand. The settlement was less than 1% of the demand in Phase 2.
- Won defense verdicts in simultaneous trials for Foster Wheeler in Los Angeles, CA, and Iowa City, IA.
- Won a defense verdict after five weeks of trial in Massachusetts in a living mesothelioma case, the first asbestos case tried to verdict in Boston in 10 years.
- Won the first asbestos wrongful death defense verdict for General Electric in Madison County, IL, one of the top "judicial hellholes" for corporate America as featured in The Wall Street Journal.
- Angelo v. Foster Wheeler (N.D. Ohio, 2008) - Tried an asbestos wrongful death case to a hung jury in Cleveland. The plaintiff never retried the case.
- Rollin v. Foster Wheeler (C.D. California, 2008) - Obtained judgment not withstanding verdict in a $9 million mesothelioma trial in California.
- Won summary judgment motions in many jurisdictions, including briefing and arguing in an MDL in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on a complex issue concerning the government contractor defense as it applies to equipment manufacturers in asbestos litigation, potentially impacting hundreds or even thousands of similar cases currently pending before the panel.