The family of a Fayetteville-Manlius school bus driver won $7.7 million last week in their asbestos trial against a bus manufacturer, making it one the the largest asbestos verdicts ever, Syracuse Media reports.
According to court documents, Lewis Nash, of Manlius, New York, was a school bus driver for close to four decades. During that time, he was exposed to brakes, gaskets, and other parts that were created with asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in a bus station garage in New York City, that he frequented during work. In September 2011, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma died from complications just a year later.
Nash’s family filed an asbestos lawsuit against Navistar, a manufacturing company that supplied the asbestos-filled parts to the F-M buses that Nash used to drive. Since the beginning of his career in 1954, Nash was exposed regularly to asbestos.
During the three-week trial, the family attorney argued that Navistar, formerly known as International Harvester, was well-aware of the fact that asbestos exposure could lead to life-threatening diseases such as malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis, yet failed to protect and warn bus drivers. Nash’s family members testified during the trial as well, reliving how difficult it was to watch a loved one go through such a devastating disease.
Last Friday, the jury agreed with the plaintiffs and felt that enough sufficient evidence was provided to prove fault against Navistar. Consequently, the plaintiffs won $7.7 million, with $3 million for the victim’s physical pain, another $3 million for the victim’s emotional pain, $1.5 million to Nash’s wife for wrongful death, and an additional $200,000 for loss of consortium.
The large verdict comes with good reason. Along with significant emotional hardship, Nash endured extreme physical pain. Prior to his death, he tried to undergo a surgical procedure to remove the cancerous tumors from his lungs, but was denied, thus prolonging his pain (which was factored into the verdict amount).
The plaintiffs’ attorneys are “are thrilled that the jury returned a just verdict in their favor.” Although Navistar can still appeal the verdict, the defense hasn’t made any comments so far after the verdict.
Several December Asbestos Verdicts in New York
The Nash case marks the second asbestos-related verdict in Syracuse, in just December alone. Earlier this month, commercial flooring manufacturing company American Biltrite Inc., along with several other companies lost a lawsuit against John Colasanti, a plaintiff who developed asbestos-related cancer after working around the dangerous mineral for years. However, unlike the Nash lawsuit, the companies named in the Colasanti lawsuit were found to only be 3.57% liable for the plaintiff’s illness. This in turn, drastically reduced the amount of money that Colasanti received; he was awarded a total of $400,000.
Additional Lawsuits Against Navistar
Navistar is in additional litigation in a multi-district lawsuit filed against Maxxforce, a diesel trucking company that allegedly manufactured faulty engines. Recently, a total of 13 pending lawsuits against Mxxforce were consolidated in Illinois, per Navistar’s request.
Keep in mind that if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you may be entitled to significant compensation. There is currently more $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, awaiting those who have been affected by asbestos exposure. We invite you to get in touch with our leading, dedicated mesothelioma lawyers for a free, confidential case evaluation.