Congratulations to Wells, Anderson & Race Attorney Mike Brooks!

Mike Brooks was part of a team who obtained a defense verdict in a product-liability case involving the 3M 8710 respirator, after a three week in-person trial in Washington State. The trial team included Byron Miller of Thompson Miller & Simpson, Angela Beranek Brandt of Larson King, and Nancy M. Erfle of Gordon & Rees, LLP. The case involved a living mesothelioma plaintiff, who had spent his working life as an insulation worker at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.  By the time of trial, all of the asbestos-containing product manufacturers, as well as another respirator defendant, had resolved the cases against them. Plaintiffs claimed that the 3M 8710 respirator did not protect him against the risk of airborne asbestos. The 3M team defended the case by teaching 3M’s decades-long history of innovation in respiratory products — which innovation continues today, with 3M increasing global N95 respirator production to 2 billion per year by year’s end. The jury found for 3M, concluding that there was no design or warning defect in the product.

Courtroom  L. Michael Brooks Jr.  L. Michael Brooks Jr.  L. Michael Brooks Jr.

The Court used Zoom for jury selection and for several important motions hearings and jury-instruction arguments. The trial was held in person in a convention center in Bellevue, Washington, converted into a “courthouse” to handle civil trials. Although some witnesses were called via Zoom, 3M brought all of its witnesses live while following Covid guidelines. All participants (court staff, attorneys, witnesses, and jurors) wore masks throughout and jurors were able seated so as to “socially distance” while listening to the evidence. The trial team isolated in a team bubble, wore masks, and tested repeatedly throughout the trial. All team members are now safely home.

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