A Dallas County jury has awarded $18.6 million to the family of a tire builder who died after being exposed to cancer-causing asbestos fibers at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plant in Tyler, Texas.
Carl Rogers worked at the plant for 30 years before being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. Jurors found Goodyear grossly negligent for allowing Rogers' continued exposure to asbestos.
The Sept. 5 verdict includes $2.7 million in non-economic damages, $900,000 in economic damages, and $15 million in punitive damages. The parties stipulated to an amount of paid medical bills, which will also be added to the final judgment.
"Mr. Rogers' family just wanted a jury to hear the story of their husband and father—he did nothing wrong and still died because his employer did not protect him," says Dallas attorney Christopher J. Panatier, a name partner in Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, PC., and lead counsel for the Rogers family. "Goodyear plainly ignored OSHA standards to protect workers from asbestos disease and never dealt honestly with them."
Rogers worked as a tire builder at the Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. in Tyler, a Goodyear subsidiary. He operated Goodyear machines that exposed him to asbestos on a constant basis. He was further exposed to asbestos-wrapped piping while maintenance work was happening at the plant. Rogers was diagnosed with mesothelioma in August 2008 and died in September 2009.
"We showed the jury that Goodyear was well-versed in the asbestos safety standards that they ignored because the company simply didn't want to pay the money to protect the employees," Panatier says.
The Rogers family was also represented by Darren P. McDowell of Simon Greenstone. The case, Vicki Lynn Rogers, et al. v. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, No. 10-03294-E, was heard in Judge Mark Greenberg's Dallas County Court at Law No. 5.
Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett is a nationally recognized trial law firm with a reputation for creative and aggressive representation of clients in a wide variety of catastrophic personal injury matters nationwide. For more information, visit sgpblaw.com.