Fox v. Superior CourtAnnotate this Case
The Foxes filed suit against 18 defendants in February 2017, claiming that Ms. Fox, age 81, sustained personal injuries as a result of her exposure to asbestos and asbestos-containing products, from approximately 1954-1963. Out of concern for Ms. Fox’s declining health, the Foxes moved for trial preference under Code of Civil Procedure 36(a). Ms. Fox now suffers from stage IV lung cancer, metastasized to her femur, clavicle, and spine, and from asbestosis, asbestos-related pleural disease, severe coronary artery disease, and anemia. She receives chemotherapy treatments every three weeks and is in partial remission but the side effects have been severe. Her attorney stated: “[f]or [Ms. Fox] to effectively participate and assist in her trial, so that her interests will not be prejudiced, it is imperative that the trial be held as soon as possible.” The Foxes submitted medical records confirming Ms. Fox’s medical diagnoses. Only two of 18 defendants opposed the Foxes’ motion and did not offer substantive argument. The trial court denied the motion. The court of appeal directed the superior court to schedule a trial within 120 days. On this record, the absence of more specifics about Ms. Fox’s prognosis was insufficient reason to deny the request for calendar preference.