James Ginter, a laboratory chemist, worked with a Friction Assessment Screening Test (FAST) machine, manufactured by the Ford Motor Company to test asbestos-containing friction material for use in brakes. He used a hacksaw and file to cut the material so it would fit into the machine, which would then abrade the material for 90 minutes to test its properties. The cutting and testing processes created asbestos dust in Ginter’s work area.
Ginter first started using the machine in 1979 at aged 30 and he worked with it for more than three years. In 2009, aged 60, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. His prognosis is poor.
Ginter sued Ford, alleging that it failed to warn of the dangers of asbestos exposure and of the need to wear respiratory protection while working with or around the machine.
Ford denied that it manufactured the machine and argued that epidemiological studies have shown brake mechanics face no increased risk of mesothelioma from working around brake materials.
Mr. Ginter pointed out that he was not a brake mechanic and that the nature of his work and exposure of his work was different. He asserted that Ford’s own documents showed that air samples from work associated with a FAST machine continued substantial asbestos levels.
The Jury awarded $2.5 milling for past and future pain and suffering, allocating fault at 15% to Ford and the rest to other entities, including other asbestos products that settled before the trial for confidential mounts. Ford is appealing the Judgement.
If you have contracted a respiratory disease from being exposed to asbestos you may be entitled to compensation. Call Liam Moloney, Solicitor today at 045 898000 to find about your rights or simply log on to www.moloneysolicitors.ie for further information.