The Florida Supreme Court has reinstated a $6.6 million verdict in an asbestos liability lawsuit, quashing an earlier ruling by the Third District Court of Appeals that reversed a trial court’s judgment.
The case, Aubin v. Union Carbide Corp., is one of a string of lawsuits against the Texas-based producer and purchaser of a chemical called ethylene. A number of its products produced at its plants from 1945 to 1980 contained various types of asbestos, including Calidria chrysotile asbestos. Exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of a terminal cancer known as mesothelioma.
While many have decried the fact that the wave of asbestos litigation has clogged courts and forced companies into bankruptcy, these arguments gloss over the fact that these firms were aware of the danger posed by their products, and failed to warn or protect their workers or consumers. In fact, in the case of Union Carbide, evidence produced in a 2012 jury trial in Los Angeles that resulted in a $37.5 million judgment revealed an internal memo that proved the company knew asbestos exposure caused cancer. Continue reading →