Auto Mechanic Mesothelioma Claim Wins Verdict against Ford Motor Company
Plaintiff was employed as an auto mechanic and exposed to asbestos from Ford parts for decades. The Ford parts involved brakes, gaskets and clutches. The plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma and forced to give up his auto repair business. The largest part of the jury verdict was for pain and suffering.
Plaintiff: Patrick Scott, age 68, auto mechanic and Sharon Scott
Attorneys for Plaintiff: Sales & Satterley by Joseph Satterley, Louisville, Kentucky
Kazan, McClain, Lyons, Greenwood & Harley by Justin Bosl, Oakland
Plaintiffs Technical Experts: Michael Ellenbecker, Sc.D., CIH, industrial hygiene, Lowell, MA.
William Longo, Ph.D., materials science, Atlanta, GA.
Plaintiffs Medical Experts: Michael Yim, M.D., pulmonology (treating physician), Vallejo.
Allan Smith, M.D., Ph.D., epidemiology, Berkeley.
Barry Horn, M.D., pulmonology, Berkeley.
Eugene Mark, M.D., pathology, Boston, MA.
Defendant: Ford Motor Company (Allied Packing & Supply and other defendants were dismissed or resolved pre-trial).
Attorneys for Defendant: Nixon Peabody by David Pereda, Ron Lopez and Ross Petty, San Francisco.
Defendant’s Medical Experts: Alberto Marchevsky, M.D., pathology, Beverly Hills.
Mary Jane Teta, Dr.P.H., epidemiology, Middlebury, CT.
Defendant’s Technical Experts: Bryan Hardin, Ph.D., toxicology, Hilton Head, SC.
Denis Rushworth, marine engineering, Dowell, MD.
Case Name: Patrick Scott and Sharon Scott v. Allied Packing & Supply, Ford Motor Company, et al.
Case Number: RG12613671
Court: Alameda County Superior Court
Type of Action: Products Liability, Toxins, Highlighted Verdicts
Judge or Arbitrator: Honorable George C. Hernandez, Jr.
Date Action was Filed: Monday, January 23, 2012
Date of Verdict: Monday, November 19, 2012
Type of Result: Jury Verdict
Trial Time: August 17, 2012 through November 19, 2012
Jury Polls: 9-3 Ford as product liability claim, 12-0 against Plaintiff for comparative negligence.
Contributory—Comparative Negligence: 19 percent Plaintiff and 22 percent Ford.
Gross Verdict: $6,825,000
Economic Damages: $ 1,225,000 lost income, medical costs and household services.
Non-Economic Damages: $5,000,000 pain and suffering and $600,000 for loss of consortium.
The plaintiff was a career auto mechanic, and was diagnosed with mesothelioma in the fall of 2011, and had to stop working. He has been unable to work and has always been a mechanic. As a teenager, before he was licensed to drive, he began fixing his own personal cars. He served in the U.S. Air Force and worked at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, before opening his firs auto repair shop in Sausalito in 1966. Later in 1966, he moved his auto repair shop to San Francisco, and in 1978, the plaintiff opened a one-bay auto shop located in St. Helena. He remained running the St. Helena, California auto repair shop, until he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. The plaintiff’s auto repair shop worked mostly on American-made motor vehicles and a large number of these were Ford cars and trucks. Ford cars and trucks had asbestos brakes, gaskets, clutches and other parts. One piece of evidence at the trial proved Ford was a member of the National Safety Council in 1948, which is when the organization published a paper. The paper that was published was on the harmful health effects of brakes containing asbestos.
Ford was negligent, Ford failed to warn of the products defects, and the products were defectively designed to include the use of asbestos. The plaintiff contended that Ford has been aware, since 1960 of the dangers of asbestos causing mesothelioma and continued to sell asbestos parts, until 2001.
The defendant contended the plaintiff’s mesothelioma was caused by working in a shipyard in 1965, for nine months. The defendant said that brake mechanics are no at an increased risk of developing mesothelioma. Therefore the exposure to the asbestos in working on Ford vehicles did not contribute to the plaintiff’s health condition.
Injuries and Damages
Plaintiff Demand: $1,000,000 for Patrick Scott and $500,000 for Sharon Scott
Defendant Offer: $12,000 for Patrick Scott and $2,500 for Sharon Scott
Per Defense Counsel: Proposed judgment for Plaintiff’s, after offsets, $1,232,000
Plaintiff’s Counsel: Counsel notations, state that other American car manufacturers, were not included in the action, due to the fact that they declared bankruptcy prior to the action being filed. Particularly, GM and Chrysler Motors, had filed bankruptcy prior to filing of action.
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