Former Factory Worker’s Family Wins $32.7 Million Mesothelioma Verdict Against Insulation Company
A North Carolina jury has awarded the family of a former factory worker $32.7 million in one of the state’s largest mesothelioma verdicts. The factory worker, Franklin Finch, worked at a Firestone tire facility in Wilson, North Carolina beginning in 1975 where he spent most of his time in the company’s curing room changing tire molds on asbestos-containing tire presses. Finch also worked with asbestos-containing platen insulators, gaskets, and other replacement parts at the Firestone plant.
While the companies that provided these products were named in multiple lawsuits, insulation company Covil Corp. was found responsible for damages. In the lawsuit against Covil, Mr. Finch and his family claimed that he was exposed to asbestos-containing insulation supplied by the company from the time he began working at Firestone in 1975 until 1995—some 20 years. The asbestos insulation supplied by Covil was used to cover steam lines in the curing room.
Decades after his employment with Firestone ended, Mr. Finch was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Sadly, he succumbed to the disease before the case went to trial. When it finally did, the trial lasted just five days. It took the jury just two hours to find that Covil Corp. was responsible for Mr. Finch’s mesothelioma stating that the company failed to warn him about the presence of asbestos in its products and that it posed a hazard to his health.
Covil Corp. went out of business in 1991.
Asbestos is Still a Health Hazard in the Workplace
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that every day as many as 1.3 million people in the U.S. go to a workplace where they are exposed to significant amounts of asbestos. While asbestos can be found just about anywhere, occupations and industries that have traditionally seen workers exposed to significant levels of asbestos include automotive repair (especially brake and clutch repair), construction, renovation, and demolition of commercial and residential buildings, roofing, mining, shipbuilding, papermills, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) repair, manufacture of products containing asbestos, and janitorial jobs in buildings that contain deteriorating asbestos.
If you work in any of these occupations or industries and have been exposed to asbestos, don’t hesitate. See your doctor right away. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure for any type of asbestos fiber, so even a small amount could lead asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma. See your doctor to assess your risk today.
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