A New York jury ordered a dozen companies to pay a portion of a $40.1 million verdict to a U.S. Navy veteran diagnosed with mesothelioma, placing more than half of the blame on Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. for exposing the man to their asbestos-containing gaskets, Law360 reported.
Jurors found GoodYear was 63 percent responsible for causing plaintiff J. Walter Tidwell’s mesothelioma. The 11 other companies – Durabla Manufacturing Co., Garlock Sealing Technologies, and others – were slapped with either 3 or 5 percent of the blame.
Several hours before the verdict was read, GoodYear filed a motion for a new trial arguing that the behavior of Tidwell’s attorney made it impossible for the jury to fairly consider GoodYear’s responsibility for the man’s injury because Twidwell’s attorney subjected its expert witnesses to “incurable character assassinations.”
Twidwell, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March 2017, filed his lawsuit in April 2017 alleging he was exposed to asbestos, a known carcinogen, in products made by numerous companies while working as a boiler tender in the Navy.
Asbestos is a durable and flame-resistant mineral that was widely used in building materials, insulations and shipping until the 1970s. Those who work in and around asbestos are at increased risk of developing the chronic and incurable lung disease asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen and other internal organs. The disease can lie dormant for decades. Once diagnosed, the disease usually proves deadly within 12 to 24 months.