Plaintiffs Arthur and Janet Putt have been awarded $8.5 million in an asbestos lawsuit, followed by another $25.5 million in punitive damages against Ford Motor Co., for making asbestos-containing auto brakes, by a California jury.
According to the court proceedings, Mr. Putt was working at gas stations in Southern California and Indiana in the late 1960s and '70s, where he conducted thousands of brake replacement jobs and safety inspection. During his occupancy, he was breathing in the asbestos-laden dust produced by the normal wear and tear of the auto brakes, which led to his mesothelioma.
The jury found Ford 100% liable for Putt's cancer as they failed to recall or place a warning on its brakes. Putt's other employers, including Chevron and Exxon, other automakers such as Chevrolet and Chrysler, or the makers and suppliers of other auto brakes, such as Pep Boys were not held liable.
Arthur Putt was awarded $4.5 million for his past and future noneconomic damages, and Janet Putt was awarded $4 million for loss of consortium inflicted on her by her husband's illness. The punitive damages were slammed against the defendant after the jury found that it acted with malice, oppression, or fraud towards Arthur Putt.