LOS ANGELES JURY AWARDS $38.891 MILLION* IN 79 YEAR OLD MESOTHELIOMA DEATH CASE & FINDS DEFENDANT BORGWARNER LIABLE. FARRISE LAW FIRM OBTAINS JUSTICE FOR FAMILY.
On August 14, 2013, a Los Angeles, CA jury found in favor of the family of a 79-year-old man who died in 2010 of mesothelioma and awarded $38.891 million in total damages, $6.39 million to compensate the family’s loss, and $32.5 million to punish asbestos clutch maker BorgWarner who the jury found acted with malice and oppression in its conduct of making and selling automotive clutches from 1928 through at least 1989. Trial lasted approximately 4 weeks beginning on July 16, 2013. Defendant BorgWarner was found 35% responsible for the death and its automotive clutches found to be defective in that the products failed to carry adequate warnings regarding the deadly asbestos content and associated health risk. Firm Founder Simona A. Farrise, LL.M. of Farrise Law Firm of Los Angeles tried the case for plaintiffs. BorgWarner was represented by Jerry Popovich of Selman Breitman LLP, Santa Ana; Steve Michel of Booth, Mitchel & Strange LLP of Los Angeles, and Elizabeth Phifer of Phifer Law Firm, Dallas, Texas.
Decedent was exposed to asbestos from BorgWarner clutches while working at the General Motors Assembly Plant in Van Nuys, CA from 1959 through 1988. Decedent was a hardworking 79-year-old father, grandfather and great-grandfather in exceptional health before being diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2010.
* Although the jury awarded $32.5 million in punitive damages after hearing and evaluating all the evidence and the trial judge affirmed that finding, the punitive award was not upheld on defendant’s appeal. Thus, the award after appeal was in excess of $6,000,000.