When Al Bennett became a mechanic, he had no idea that his chosen profession would end up leading to being diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. But years after he worked for Ford, Mercury and Lincoln automobile dealerships from the 1960s to the 1980s, Mr. Bennett found that instead of enjoying his retirement he was feeling ill. He was eventually diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma located in his right lung. He and his wife Pam recently sued Ford Motor Company, accusing them of negligence and product liability, and a St. Louis jury hearing his case awarded the couple a verdict totaling $8.433 million dollars.
During the course of the two-week trial, the jury heard a significant amount of information about how malignant mesothelioma forms in the lungs and the role that the mineral asbestos plays in the illness. They also heard about how Mr. Bennett spent years coming into regular contact with brakes, gaskets, clutches and OEM replacement parts while working for dealerships that serviced Ford Motor Company vehicles.
Asbestos Exposure Leads to Malignant Mesothelioma
Though Ford Motor Company argued that it should not be held responsible for Mr. Bennett’s malignant pleural mesothelioma, the jury hearing the case was apparently convinced by the specific details of the work that Mr. Bennett performed and how it exposed him to the risk of breathing in the carcinogenic fibers. They also heard details about Ford’s knowledge of the dangers of asbestos fibers and the automotive giant’s failure to provide warnings that would have led to Mr. Bennett having protected himself from inhaling the fibers.
Mesothelioma is a condition with an extremely long latency period that only makes itself known several decades after its victims have been exposed to asbestos. It often strikes victims long after they have left the jobs that put them at risk, and this often makes pursuing these cases a challenge. Mr. Bennett was able to present a significant amount of supporting evidence after having been born and raised in St. Louis and continuing to work there as an adult. He retired to South County, where he is receiving treatment for his disease.