A Florida jury has awarded $24.2 million in an asbestos lawsuit against Honeywell International, the parent of brake maker Bendix¬¬. Stephen E. Guilder learned to repair tractors and other farm equipment as a teenager working on the family farm. He went on to become a highly successful head and neck surgeon. Dr. Guilder was diagnosed last year with a rare, fatal type of cancer — which he blames on exposure in the 1970s and early 1980s to brake pads made with asbestos. The Miami-Dade County jury found Honeywell negligent for selling asbestos brakes and awarded damages to Dr. Guilder. This was the largest compensatory damages verdict thus far involving a single defendant in a Florida asbestos case. The doctor’s oncologist testified during the two-week trial that his patient has a less than 10% chance of surviving beyond the fall of next year. Dr. Guilder was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the abdominal lining. Last November, two months after the diagnosis, Dr. Guilder closed his medical practice. Since that time, the cancer has spread throughout his body.
Honeywell obtained Bendix as a result of a 1999 merger with Allied-Signal, which had merged with Bendix in 1982. Honeywell no longer makes products containing asbestos. Nine other defendants named in the lawsuit, including Deere & Co. and General Motors, reached confidential settlements before the case went to trial. Caterpillar and Ford Motor Co. were dismissed as defendants from the case. David A. Jagolinzer, of the Ferraro Law Firm in Miami, represented the plaintiffs in this case and did an outstanding job.
Source: Miami Herald
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