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Multi-Million Dollar Settlement Reached in Asbestos Mesothelioma Lawsuit

January 22, 2014

Los Angeles, CA: A multi-million dollar asbestos mesothelioma settlement has been awarded to the family of Gordon Bankhead. The plaintiffs alleged their father and husband was exposed to asbestos dust through his work with vehicle brake parts and that the defendant company's liability was the cause of wrongful death which led to the loss of companionship for family members of the Mr. Bankhead.

According to the asbestos lawsuit, Gordon Bankhead worked as a parts man from 1965 to 1999 in the service and repair of heavy duty vehicles. He handled asbestos-containing brakes regularly, and 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. Defendant Pneumo Abex manufactured many of the brake linings Mr. Bankhead was exposed to.

This was the second trial regarding the Bankhead family and defendant Pneumo Abex. The jury in the first trial, on liability, found Defendant Pneumo Abex 30% liable. The jury found that Pneumo Abex' asbestos-containing brakes were defective, and that Pneumo Abex negligently, intentionally, and maliciously caused Mr. Bankhead' mesothelioma, from which he died at age 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' 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' death gave rise to a new case to compensate his family for their loss of his companionship. In this second trial, which commenced January 13, 2014, Pneumo Abex was not allowed to dispute its responsibility for Mr. Bankhead' death. The jury was not told the reasons for Pneumo Abex' liability, nor were they told about the circumstances of Mr. Bankhead' death. The jury was tasked with deciding the full amount of Mr. Bankhead' widow' and daughters' losses due to his wrongful death 17 years before his life expectancy. The Bankheads did not seek funeral expenses and other economic damages.

The second trial took just 2 days, resulting in a gross verdict if $11,000,000, and a net verdict of $3,300,000, non-economic damages of $6 million were awarded to Emily Bankhead, and $2.5 million to Tammy and Debbie Bankhead individually.

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