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Jury: Brake pad company to pay family $27.5 million

When a company manufactures a product, it is expected to be safe or come with appropriate warnings to consumers if it could cause them harm. Unfortunately, not all companies take these necessary steps. For decades, some manufacturers of products that contained asbestos failed to warn people of the risks associated with being exposed to the toxic material and people in North Carolina and nationwide suffered the consequences.

Asbestos has been linked to causing serious illnesses including mesothelioma and asbestosis. Despite this knowledge, many companies continued to manufacture products that contained asbestos without issuing the appropriate warnings. Not only were the people who worked with the defective products at risk of developing an asbestos-related illness, but so were their families.

A recent lawsuit highlights the steps that victims can take to hold a negligent company responsible for exposure to these dangerous products.

The lawsuit was filed by a man who was exposed to asbestos as a child when his father was working for a company that manufactured brake pads that contained asbestos. When the father returned home after work every day, he would be covered in toxic dust that his family would then be exposed to. This exposure proved to be devastating for his family, as the son, who is now 40, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2012.

The man and his wife filed a lawsuit against the brake pad company. According to their claims, the company made defective brake pads that did not come with adequate warnings about asbestos exposure. This negligence resulted in toxic asbestos exposure and the son's mesothelioma diagnosis. A jury agreed and awarded the man and his wife a total of $27.5 million. 

Money cannot undo the fact that decades ago, a company chose to put workers and their families at risk of asbestos exposure. It cannot repair the loss and devastation that this family has suffered as a result of this negligence. It can, however, compensate them for economic and non-economic damages and provide the family with the financial resources to access treatment options. It can also provide much-needed financial support for the man's wife and daughter if and when he loses the fight with mesothelioma. 

Source: Legal Newsline, "Ohio jury awards 40-year-old $27M in second-hand asbestos exposure case," Heather Isringhausen Gvillo, Jan. 27, 2014

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