A deceased New York mesothelioma victim and his widow were on Tuesday awarded $11 million after Weitz & Luxenberg laid out a compelling case against Ford Motor Co.
The case was submitted to the jury just as the extended Memorial Day weekend was about to begin.
But the panel took only until the next court-business day to return with a finding that Ford was 49% liable for the death of retired automobile mechanic Arthur H. Juni, Jr.
Moreover, the jury determined that Ford had acted with reckless disregard for the safety of others, including Mr. Juni.
The $11-million total award consisted of $8 million to compensate Mr. Juni for his pain and suffering.
The remaining $3 million was awarded to compensate Mrs. Juni for the loss of services and consortium resulting from Mr. Juni’s cancer.
“Mrs. Juni is extremely upset that she lost the love of her life, her companion for over 50 years,” said our Ben Darche, one of the three Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys who served on the trial team.
“But because Mrs. Juni was willing to see the lawsuit through to the end, the favorable verdict enabled her to come away with a sense of closure,” he continued.
Said Adam Cooper, who also served on the Weitz & Luxenberg trial team, “The award added up to a great, great victory for her —and for the memory of her late husband.”
Mr. Juni repaired cars during an automotive career that spanned 44 years. His job regularly called upon him to remove and install brakes, clutches, and engine gaskets.
The problem was that those automotive parts contained asbestos and Ford failed to warn of the hazard.
“Our objective was to show the parts were the source of the asbestos exposure that led to Mr. Juni developing mesothelioma,” explained our Jerry Kristal, another member of the trial team and managing attorney of our office in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Mr. Juni discovered he had mesothelioma three years after he retired. Leading up to that discovery, he felt his health take a sudden, worrisome turn. This prompted Mr. Juni to see a doctor for a check-up.
The medical examination —conducted in June, 2012 —revealed that Mr. Juni had been stricken with malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Although treatment slowed the cancer, he was not spared mesothelioma’s agonizing pain during the nearly two years he battled the disease. Mr. Juni died March 15.
He and his wife initiated their lawsuit against Ford before his death.
The case is Supreme Court, New York County, Docket No. 190315 —2012.