Two years ago, William Trokey came to Mesothelioma Guide needing help. The latest development in his case is proof he came to the right mesothelioma patient advocacy organization.
Last week, on March 10, 2022, William and his wife, Kathy, each received $10 million for a $20 million mesothelioma verdict from Ford Motor Company. William, from St. Louis, Missouri, worked for the automobile manufacturer during the 1960s as a brake drum installer.
The husband-wife pair benefited from the work of Mesothelioma Guide veterans advocate and Navy veteran Carl Jewett, along with the legal guidance of experienced mesothelioma lawyers. William and Kathy were represented by the veteran-owned law firm Simmons Hanly Conroy based on Carl’s recommendation.
The verdict affirms the need for Mesothelioma Guide’s patient advocacy. Mesothelioma Guide is dedicated to helping patients with mesothelioma receive financial help for their cancer. The money people receive from verdicts can pay for life-saving surgery, immunotherapy treatment and travel to a top-ranked cancer center.
Mesothelioma Guide continues to be available for patients needing treatment or legal help. If you have mesothelioma along with questions about finding a lawyer, we can help. Email Carl Jewett (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Karen Ritter (email@example.com) to get advice on finding a mesothelioma attorney with experience representing automobile mechanics and other types of auto workers.
Victim’s Work With Ford Motor
William, age 76, installed brake drums for Ford Motor Company from 1960-1968, according to court records. The brake drums were made with asbestos. The claim is Ford Motor Company officials knew the asbestos was dangerous but continued to have William T. and others handle asbestos without proper protection or training.
William was diagnosed with mesothelioma and linked the disease to his work as a brake drum installer for Ford Motor Company. Mesothelioma is a cancer caused solely by asbestos, and the deadly disease kills around 3,000 Americans each year. The average survival is 1-2 years, often shortening the lives of victims due to corporate greed.
During the court proceedings, William’s highly qualified attorney described the victim needing to carry a vomit bag and a urinal. The lawyer said Ford had evidence of asbestos’ dangers and explained replacing brake drums can expose a person to 240 million fibers of amphibole asbestos.
One of the most unique aspects of this case is the mesothelioma latency period. The victim developed the cancer 53 years after his recorded asbestos exposure. The latency period of a disease is how long it takes to form – or how long it sits dormant in the body.
Mesothelioma takes 20-50 years usually for the sharp asbestos fibers piercing into the tissue lining to mutate cells and turn them cancerous. William’s latency period is longer than usual. He was diagnosed in 2020.
William, the victim of mesothelioma, received $10 million for his diagnosis. His wife received $10 million for her suffering related to her husband’s cancer and her caregiving.
Chrysotile Asbestos in Automobile Work
Chrysotile asbestos is the most common in automobile brake linings, gaskets and other vehicle parts. It’s one of two primary types of the mineral and is referred to as white asbestos. Mesothelioma Guide details how automobile repair workers are exposed to asbestos through their jobs.
The Environmental Protection Agency explains workers cannot identify asbestos dust on brakes from just looking at them. The fibers are too small when separated from the main mineral mixture. University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers note asbestos has been used to strengthen automobile brakes since the 1940s, which matches William’s timeline as a Ford Motor Company employee.
Automobile brakes cause dust to build up in the wheel well. The non-fibrous dust happens during the heat of car brakes grinding. So replacing brake drums or installing them can lead to exposure. Breathing in or swallowing them is quite common for these workers when they blow out this dust during the repair or replacement step.
Another action is adding new brakes via a sanding process, which disturbs asbestos and causes free-floating chrysotile fibers to enter the air.
What the Verdict Means for Mesothelioma Cases
This mesothelioma lawsuit against Ford Motor Company is not the first involving an automobile worker. This is the latest in a long run of cases against companies involved in making or repairing vehicles.
University of Wisconsin-Madison listed mesothelioma cases caused by automobile work:
- Woman, 43, who worked on brake linings for three years
- Male, 47, worked as an auto mechanic
- Three women had secondary asbestos exposure from their husbands
The jury’s decision in the Ford Motor Company case was another affirmation that companies exposing their former employees to asbestos are responsible for their health issues. When a company like Ford Motor Co. knowingly exposes employees to asbestos, they are putting their long-term health at risk.
Sources & Author
- Jury decides asbestos in Ford brake drums caused man’s mesothelioma, awards $20 million. St. Louis Record. Retrieved from: https://stlrecord.com/stories/621672220-jury-decides-asbestos-in-ford-brake-drums-caused-man-s-mesothelioma-awards-20-million. Accessed: 03/11/2022.
- Jury awards St. Louis County man $20 million in asbestos suit. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved from: https://www.stltoday.com/business/jury-awards-st-louis-county-man-20-million-in-asbestos-suit/article_ce9efaa0-6eee-5474-8f67-d0e8ecf1dd1d.html. Accessed: 03/12/2022.
- Mesothelioma from Asbestos Exposure in Brake Mechanics: Epidemiology in Context. OMICS International. Retrieved from: https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/mesothelioma-from-asbestos-exposure-in-brake-mechanics-epidemiology-in-context-2161-1165-1000340-101473.html. Accessed: 10/23/2019.
Sources & Author