Lawsuit: Automotive, tobacco companies owe $27 million for man’s untimely death

8 Oct 2018 by under Legal

smoking 100x100 Lawsuit: Automotive, tobacco companies owe $27 million for mans untimely deathLouis Summerlin was in severe pain in the months leading up to his lung cancer death. His wife, Joanna, suing on behalf of her late husband, believes , Phillip Morris, and Hampden Automotive owe her $27 million for exposing her husband to cancer-causing asbestos in their cigarettes and brakes.

Mrs. Summerlin’s attorney told a Middlesex County (Boston) Superior Court jury during closing arguments that his client was entitled to that sum based on $10 million for the pain Mr. Summerlin suffered before his death, $5 million for Mrs. Summerlin’s loss of companionship, and $1 million a year for each of the 12 years Mr. Summerlin’s life was cut short due to asbestos exposure.

The Summerlins filed the lawsuit in 2015 against the two tobacco companies and the automotive company just months before Mr. Summerlin died from lung cancer. He blames his diagnosis on the cigarettes the companies made, which contained asbestos in the filters. He also said that he was exposed to asbestos in the brake products used by Hampden Automotive.

During opening statements, the Summerlins’ attorney told the jury that Mr. Summerlin didn’t even like cigarettes until, as a teenager, he tried menthol-flavored cigarettes, which got him hooked on the products. He claimed that Brown & Williamson (which later merged with R.J. Reynolds) knew that smoking could cause cancer but failed to warn consumers. Mr. Summerlin also smoked Marlboro Menthols made by Phillip Morris.

He also worked as a mechanic for 25 years, and claimed that Hampden Automotive should have known that the asbestos in its brake linings could cause harm to mechanics.

Asbestos exposure can lead to the incurable lung disease asbestosis, lung cancer, and , a rare but deadly form of cancer that affects the tissue surrounding the lungs and abdomen.


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