On November 19, 2012, an Alameda County jury in Hayward, California returned a $6,825,000 verdict against Ford Motor Company for Kazan Law clients Patrick and Sharon Scott.
Pat Scott, age 69, was a career auto mechanic until he was diagnosed with mesothelioma last fall. Since then, he has been unable to work. He has always been a car guy; he began fixing his personal cars as a teenager before he even got a drivers license. After serving in the U.S. Air Force and working for nine months at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, he opened his first auto repair shop in 1966 in Sausalito. Later that year, he moved his shop to San Francisco. In 1978, Pat Scott opened a one-bay auto shop in St. Helena, California, which he ran until his diagnosis.
Throughout his career, Mr. Scott worked on many Ford cars and trucks in his shops, as well as his personal Ford trucks. The Ford cars and trucks had asbestos brakes, clutches, gaskets, and other parts. Evidence at trial showed that Ford was a member of the National Safety Council in 1948, when the organization published on the harmful effects of asbestos in brakes. Ford’s corporate toxicologist testified that Ford knew asbestos causes mesothelioma since 1960. Ford continued to sell asbestos parts until 2001. Ford’s corporate representative admitted in testimony that Ford never told its customers that the asbestos in its cars and trucks can cause mesothelioma.
The jury found that Ford’s products were defectively designed, that Ford failed to warn Mr. Scott, and that Ford was negligent, apportioning 22% liability to Ford. The jury awarded Mr. Scott $1,225,000 for his medical costs and lost income and $5,000,000 for his pain, suffering, and emotional distress. The jury also awarded Sharon Scott, his wife, $600,000 for her loss of her husband’s support and companionship.
Mr. and Mrs. Scott were represented at trial by several Kazan Firm attorneys led by Justin Bosl and by Joseph Satterley of Louisville, Kentucky.