A multi-million dollar asbestos mesothelioma settlement has been awarded to the family of Gordon Bankhead. The plaintiffs alleged that their father and husband were exposed to asbestos dust through his work with vehicle brake parts and that the defendant company’s liability was the cause of the wrongful death, which led to the loss of companionship for family members of Mr. Bankhead.
According to the lawsuit, Gordon Bankhead worked as a Parts Man from 1965 to 1999 in the service and repair of heavy-duty vehicles. He regularly handled asbestos-containing brakes; was present for the inspection, replacement, grinding and blowing out of asbestos-containing brakes. All of these activities caused him to breathe deadly asbestos dust. Many of the brake linings Mr. Bankhead was exposed to were manufactured by Defendant Pneumo Abex.
This was the second trial regarding the Bankhead family and defendant Pneumo Abex. The jury in the first trial found Defendant Pneumo Abex 30 percent liable. The jury found that Pneumo Abex’s asbestos-containing brakes were defective, and that Pneumo Abex negligently, intentionally and maliciously caused Mr. Bankhead’s mesothelioma, from which he died at the age of 68.
The jury awarded Mr. Bankhead $1,470,000 for his past and future economic loss and $1,500,000 for his pain and suffering. The jury also awarded his wife, Emily Bankhead, $1,000,000 for her loss of her husband’s support and companionship. The jury found that defendants’ actions were malicious, fraudulent, and/or oppressive and awarded $9,000,000 in punitive damages against Pneumo Abex. Pneumo Abex appealed the verdict, which was subsequently upheld.
Mr. Bankhead’s death gave rise to a new case to compensate his family for their loss of companionship. In this second trial, which began on January 13, 2014, Pneumo Abex was not allowed to dispute its responsibility for Mr. Bankhead’s death. The jury was not told the reasons for Pneumo Abex’s liability, nor were they told about the circumstances of Mr. Bankhead’s death. The jury was given the task of deciding the full amount of Mr. Bankhead’s widow’s and daughters’ losses due to his wrongful death 17 years before his life expectancy. The Bankhead’s did not seek funeral expenses or other economic damages.
The second trial took just two days, resulting in a gross verdict of $11,000,000 and a net verdict of $3,300,000; non-economic damages of $6,000,000 were awarded to Emily Bankhead and $2,500,000 to Tammy and Debbie Bankhead individually.
If you or a loved one suffered from asbestos mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).