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Published On: 9.2.2014 Charlotte, NC

Jury Awards $37 Million In Asbestos Suit

By Robert Dill of Charles G. Monnett III & Associates

A Tampa jury this week awarded nearly $37 million to asbestos plaintiffs in a brake-lining-exposure lawsuit, finding Pneumo Abex LLC 75% liable. The jury in the Florida 13th Judicial Circuit Court for Hillsborough County reached the verdict Wednesday. Chief Judge Manuel Menendez Jr. presided over the 2.5-week trial, which ended after only two hours of deliberations.

Gary Hampton, a former Tampa resident who now lives in Virginia, worked as a mechanic for 7 years in the 1970s. He said he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2013 stemming from his exposure to brake linings made by Pneumo Abex and Ford Motor Co.

Jurors found Pneumo Abex negligent for failing to warn Hampton about the dangers of asbestos-containing brake linings and strictly liable for placing a defective product in the stream of commerce. Pneumo Abex was the lone remaining defendant. Ford Motor reached an earlier settlement.

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