A North Carolina jury has awarded the family of a former Firestone factory worker nearly $33 million in one of the state’s largest mesothelioma verdicts. Franklin Finch worked at a Firestone tire facility in Wilson, North Carolina from 1975-1995, 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 gaskets, platen insulators, gaskets, and other replacement parts.
While the companies that provided these products were named in several lawsuits by Mr. Finch, insulation company Covil Corp. was ultimately found responsible for damages. In the lawsuit, Mr. Finch claimed that he was exposed to asbestos-containing insulation supplied by the company for the entire 20 years he worked at the Firestone plant. 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. He died from the disease before the case went to trial, but when it finally did, justice was swift. The trial lasted just five days and it took the jury just two hours to find that Covil Corp. was responsible for Mr. Finch’s mesothelioma. The jury found that the company failed to warn Mr. Finch about the presence of asbestos in its products and the dangers of it.
Covil Corp. went out of business in 1991.
Asbestos is Still a Health Hazard in the Workplace
If you think asbestos can no longer be found in the workplace, think again. 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. Occupations and industries that have traditionally seen workers exposed to significant levels of asbestos include automotive repair (especially brake and clutch repair), construction, shipbuilding, renovation, and demolition of commercial and residential buildings, mining, roofing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) repair, papermills, manufacture of products containing asbestos, and janitorial jobs in buildings that contain deteriorating asbestos.
If you work or have worked in any of these occupations or industries, you may have been exposed to asbestos. Don’t hesitate. See your doctor right away. The OSHA says that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure for any type of asbestos fiber. This means that even a small amount could lead asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma. See your doctor to assess your risk today.
“Covil Corp. Must Pay $32.7M Over Tire Plant Worker's Death.” Law360. Portfolio Media, LexisNexis, 09 Oct. 2018. Web. 24 Apr. 2019.
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“Finch v. BASF Catalysts LLC.” Casetext.com. Casetext.com, 08 Aug. 2018. Web. 24 Apr. 2019.
Goguen, David. “Asbestos exposure and mesothelioma risks on the job: the facts.” Nolo. MH Sub I, LLC dba Nolo, 2019. Web. 24 Apr. 2019.
“Safety and Health Topics: Asbestos.” Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). United States Department of Labor, 2019. Web. 24 Apr. 2019.