Ford Motor Co. Loses Asbestos Lawsuit Appeal

by Sokolove Law

Four years after her death, plaintiff and mesothelioma victim Joan Dixon and her family received justice. Last week, Maryland’s highest court upheld a trial court ruling against Ford Motor Co. over Dixon’s exposure to asbestos dust from the car company’s brake products.

Key to Dixon’s case was epidemiologist Dr. Laura Welch, who testified during the original trial “that every exposure to asbestos, including the short fiber chrysotile asbestos contained in the Ford brake products, increased the likelihood of contracting mesothelioma and thus constituted a substantial contributing cause of that disease,” as stated in the court records.

The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that Welch’s “any exposure” testimony was rightfully admitted by the trial court. The ruling upholds a multimillion-dollar judgment against Ford, according to the Thomson Reuters Knowledge Effect blog.

The Dixons had originally sued Ford and other defendant companies in Baltimore City Circuit Court. That suit alleged that during the 1960s and the 1970s, Joan Dixon was exposed to asbestos from home improvement projects and as a result of her husband work maintaining, replacing, and repairing automobile brakes at a friend’s garage.

Most of the brake parts Dixon’s husband worked on were manufactured by Ford and contained chrysotile asbestos. Bernard Dixon would come home with work clothes covered with asbestos dust from the brakes. Joan Dixon shook out and washed his work clothes each week, according to Thomson Reuters.

The Dixon family received damages of $15 million from the jury, later reduced by the court to just over $6 million due to the Maryland’s statutory cap on awards. The judgment was reduced again by the court to about $3 million. Former co-defendant Georgia-Pacific Corp. was held collectively liable with Ford, writes Thomson Reuters. Ford filed an appeal.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation from the companies responsible for your asbestos exposure. Contact Sokolove Law today to find out more about your legal options.

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