The Ferraro Law Firm’s Florida asbestos lawyers successfully secured a $37 million verdict in favor of a client diagnosed with mesothelioma, following exposure to asbestos contained in brake lining.
The plaintiff filed his case in Hillsborough Circuit Court soon after being diagnosed with the terminal cancer in February 2013.
A confidential settlement was reached between the plaintiff and Ford Motor Co., one of several defendants in the case, prior to the conclusion of a three-week trial. The remaining defendants, including Pneumo Abex LLC, will be responsible for their portion of the balance.
Attorney David Jagolinzer, who represented the plaintiff for the Ferraro Law Firm, noted the substantial size of the verdict was at least partially due to the plaintiff’s family circumstances. The plaintiff is the primary caregiver for his adopted niece, who is 12. His wife is suffering from kidney failure and is critically ill.
Patients with mesothelioma know their time is limited. The disease, which is latent for many years and often decades, only surfaces with symptoms in the latter stages. There is no known cure for the disease, which is caused by exposure to asbestos. Because of the pervasiveness of the material in the 20th century, we are only now becoming aware of widespread exposure.
While an appeal by the defendants is expected, our attorneys have expressed confidence in the jury’s verdict.
The 65-year-old plaintiff in Hampton vs. Allis-Chalmers Corporation Product Liability Trust et al. worked at an auto repair shop in Tampa from the late 1960s through 1977. During that time, he was never given a warning that working with the brakes presented a danger to his health from breathing asbestos fibers. Those fibers can cause a host of diseases, including lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma.
Plaintiff in this case sued Ford Motor Corp., which designed the brakes, as well as Pneumo Abex. The latter is now defunct, but it was the firm that manufactured the dangerous brakes. The company used to be a subsidiary of Cooper Industries, which is likely the entity from which the judgment will be collected.
The lawsuit against the defendants asserted defective product/failure to warn, strict liability, and negligence claims. The case, filed in the circuit’s asbestos litigation division, had been overseen by Chief Judge Manuel Menendez.
Plaintiff attorney Jagolinzer called five expert witnesses to the stand. Among those were a materials scientist, who tested the brake product, as well as a cellular biologist, a pathologist, an epidemiologist, and a public health official. In addition to those, the plaintiff, his wife, and his daughter testified.
The day before family members were slated to testify, Ford agreed to a settlement. However, Pneumo Abex did not make any serious settlement offers prior to or during trial.
Jagolinzer was later quoted in Daily Business Review expressing surprise that the latter never initiated a settlement. Calling it one of the “most devastating cases” for the fact that it ruined three lives, Jagolinzer added, “The case was pretty clear as far as culpability.”
In the end, the six-member jury determined in favor of the plaintiff. Pneumo Abex was deemed 75 percent liable. The jury apportioned the plaintiff $27 million for pain and suffering, $3.7 million to the plaintiff’s wife for loss of consortium, $6.1 million to the pair’s adopted daughter, and $360,000 to cover medical expenses.
Help for mesothelioma victims can be found at The Ferraro Law Firm by calling 1-800-275-3332. Offices in Miami and Washington, D.C.
Miami Attorney Wins $37M Jury Award For Mechanic In Asbestos Case, Aug. 29, 2014, By July Kay, Daily Business Review
Hampton, Gary L vs ALLIS-CHALMERS CORPORATION PRODUCT LIABILITY TRUST et al, filed July 17, 2013, Hillsborough Circuit Court
More Blog Entries:
Rost v. Ford Motor Co. – Court Upholds Plaintiff Award, Clarifies “Any Exposure”, June 2, 2014, Miami Mesothelioma Lawyer Blog