Jury awards $81.5 million against Napa asbestos exposure claim

26 Apr 2017 by under Legal, News

4178172 4178172 american justice series edited 100x100 Jury awards $81.5 million against Napa asbestos exposure claimJerry “Doy” Coogan spent a lifetime fixing up backhoes, cranes and hot rods, and a state jury recently found that his hobbies lead to his death. The jury awarded $81.5 million after determining his frequent use of Napa-brand auto parts lead to his death from in 2015 at age 67, according to Law 360.

Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, a group of silicate minerals that is known human carcinogen. For decades, gaskets, brakes and clutches — primarily parts that dealt with high levels of friction — used the material for its heat resistance. Though asbestos was no longer used in most products by 1990, the plaintiff’s legal team said some unnamed companies continued to sell auto parts containing asbestos until 2001.

“Doy Coogan had no idea that he was being exposed to deadly asbestos from just doing what he enjoyed,” said Jessica Dean, attorney for Coogan’s wife Gerri, said in a statement. “Many sellers of friction parts such as brakes, clutches and gaskets have known for nearly a century that their products contain asbestos and can kill. But they refuse to acknowledge their responsibility.”

The jury found against both Napa and sibling company Genuine Parts Corp. for negligence and strict liability, according to the news source. The 12-week long trial was decided in five hours.

Mesothelioma usually does not develop until decades after asbestos exposure. Only one exposure to the carcinogen could potentially lead to an asbestos-related disease. However, prolonged exposure, as seen in this case, can increase the chances of contracting lung cancer or mesothelioma, which can affect the lungs, heart or abdomen.


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