Jury finds Ford not responsible for asbestos death
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Makers of vehicles and drywall have been found not responsible for the asbestos-related mesothelioma death of a 78-year-old man. A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury found in favor of Ford Motor Co., Daimler Trucks of North America and Kaiser Gypsum, Inc., after a six-week trial.
The suit had been brought by the widow and sons of William Goebel, who worked as a maintenance man and died in September 2008. The suit alleged that exposure to chrysotile asbestos in the brake pads, clutches and drywall products produced by the defendants.
But Daily Journal reporter Dhyana Levey writes the defense attorneys argued that those products didn’t contain enough asbestos to cause Goebel’s death. Those attorneys maintained the likely cause was Goebel’s exposure to amosite asbestos while he served on the USS Porterfield, which had more than 30 tons of insulation that contained asbestos.
Five other defendants in the case settled before the verdict, paying a total of more than $2 million, according to Ford’s attorney James J. Yukevich.