Recently, a jury awarded $2.5 million to a plaintiff who had filed a lawsuit against several companies, alleging that each was partially responsible for his asbestos exposure and subsequent mesothelioma. Although the majority of the defendant companies settled with the plaintiff before the case went to trial, Ford Motor Company refused to do so, and was ordered to pay a significant portion of the total damage award.
The asbestos lawsuit was filed by a former chemist who alleged that he was exposed to asbestos while using a machine manufactured by Ford. According to the suit, the plaintiff used a Friction Assessment Screening Test (FAST) through much of the 1980s to test various experimental friction materials in order to determine whether they could be used as brakes. Many of those experimental materials, which were ground as part of the testing process, contained asbestos.
In his lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that Ford, which manufactured the FAST testing device, did not warn him of the potential asbestos exposure despite the fact that several of the company’s own employees had contracted lung cancer and other asbestos-related illnesses and died from mesothelioma and other diseases more than a decade earlier.
The jury agreed, awarding the plaintiff $2.5 million in damages to compensate for his mesothelioma injury and determining that Ford was 15 percent responsible for the asbestos exposure. The remainder of the damages were attributed to various other companies that the plaintiff had named in his lawsuit. The majority of those companies settled with the plaintiff before the mesothelioma trial began.
Source: About Lawsuits, “Mesothelioma Lawsuit Against Ford Results in $2.5M Jury Award,” 15 July 2011