Asbestos, Mesothelioma, Tosco Refinery & Dillingham

asbestos fibers

Asbestos, Mesothelioma, Tosco Refinery & Dillingham: A case in the Court of Appeals California, First District, Division One, ruled on an appeal of summary judgment.

The Asbestos, Mesothelioma, Tosco Refinery & Dillingham case is about a supervisor and rigger at a refinery in Avon California that was allegedly exposed to asbestos dust – from the insulation on the steam lines marine etc. – and later developed mesothelioma.

A brief summary of the Asbestos, Mesothelioma, Tosco Refinery & Dillingham includes:

  1. The pivotal issue was whether the insulation swept into the air by Dillingham laborers in the early 1970’s, near where O’Leary was working, contained asbestos
  2. The only evidence of O’Leary’s exposure to insulation dust comes from his former colleague, James Hetzel, who authored a declaration in opposition to Dillingham’s motion for summary judgment.
  3. According to Hetzel, he and O’Leary were riggers “from the 1970s into the late 1980s . . . at the Tosco Refinery, Avon, CA where [they] worked on shut-downs.” O’Leary was Hetzel’s supervisor. O’Leary not only inspected the work of Hetzel’s crew, he also did “hands-on work” alongside him. During rigging work, they disturbed insulation on heavy equipment. Also, many other workers around them would, during shut-downs, disturb “the old insulation on” nearby “steam lines and large machinery.”
  4. During the “early to mid 1970s,” Hetzel saw Dillingham employees sweep “dust and debris from the old thermal insulation that had been removed from steam lines and large machinery” at times as close as five or 10 feet from O’Leary. The “old insulation was white to off-white, the outer part would be darker in color from age, it was crumbly and brittle and there were visible fibers when you see the broken pieces up close.” This insulation was “a different color and texture to what . . . was patched on piping and equipment much more recently.”
  5. The Court ruled: Reverse
  6. For more on the case, please follow this link: Tosco Refinery & Dillingham – February 18, 2016.


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If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, and need an asbestos or mesothelioma lawyer to help you file a mesothelioma lawsuit, contact our office at 1.800.672.4916.