Last week, the family of a Texas man, diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, who once worked for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plant in Tyler, won $18.6 million in an asbestos lawsuit, after proving the company negligently exposed him to the dangerous mineral daily while he worked.
According to court documents, the family of Carl Rogers and their attorney filed an amended petition on Aug. 4, stating that Rogers developed mesothelioma as a result of the working at Goodyear’s tire manufacturing center, where asbestos was once heavily used. Although the original complaint was filed in 2010, the new petition includes allegations that Goodyear acted in a gross and negligent manner, which would help the plaintiffs in seeking punitive damages. Goodyear has been denying the allegations from the beginning, and refused to answer or return phone calls regarding the case.
The trial last nine days, and after hours of deliberations, the jury concluded that there was enough evidence shown to prove that Goodyear acted in a negligent manner. Along with $900,000 in economic damages, the verdict also included $2.7 million in non-economic damages, and punitive damages of $15 million.
Rogers worked for Goodyear for 30 years, at the Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. in Tyler, an extended branch of the Goodyear company. Not only did he work as a tire builder, but he did maintenance work on pipes that were created with asbestos-containing materials (ACMs), and worked around machines and equipment that were littered with asbestos.
In Aug. of 2008, Rogers was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He died only a year later, in Sept. of 2009. His family filed a lawsuit against Goodyear shortly after.
Goodyear, however, plans to appeal the decision.
“We are extremely disappointed in the verdict and will appeal this decision. Regardless, under Texas law, the damages will be capped and the amount of this verdict will be drastically reduced,” a representative for the company wrote in an email statement.
Regardless, the Rogers’ family attorney is prepared for the appeal, and will continue to fight to ensure that Goodyear is held liable for negligently exposing workers to a life-threatening mineral. Per court documents, the Rogers’ family lawyer states that Goodyear knew and understood the risks of allowing their employees to work around asbestos, yet did nothing to protect them, and completely ignored the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) standards when it comes to asbestos use and protection.
This isn’t the first time Goodyear has lost an asbestos lawsuit. In 2011, a New York state jury found the company negligent of protecting workers against asbestos found in gaskets. Two former workers, who worked at various Goodyear job sites in the Buffalo, New York area, passed away shortly being diagnosed with mesothelioma. The lawsuit for both workers was filed in 1988. Although it took many years before the case was settled, the victims’ families were victorious and won a combined $22 million.
Keep in mind that if you are a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, you may be eligible for compensation for pain, suffering, medical expenses, and much more. For more information and for a free, no-obligation legal consultation, contact our dedicated and experienced mesothelioma law firm today.