The 3rd District Court of Appeal reversed a $24.2 million verdict Wednesday, striking a Miami-Dade jury award to a Weston, Fla., surgeon who claimed asbestos exposure caused his terminal cancer.
In a unanimous unsigned opinion, the three-judge panel remanded the products liability lawsuit by Dr. Stephen Guilder against Honeywell International and ordered a new trial.
Guilder won one of the highest compensatory damage awards against a single defendant in a mesothelioma case in April 2008. He died before the appeal was decided.
He claimed he developed the rare peritoneal mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos by remodeling an attic, working in road construction and repairing cars in the 1970s and 1980s.
The doctor sued Honeywell, whose subsidiary Bendix made brakes, and 15 other defendants. A number of the defendants entered confidential pretrial settlements.
The jury verdict included a $10.4 million award for Guilder’s children for loss of parental consortium.
The 3rd DCA reversed on several grounds, agreeing with Honeywell that Judge Feder erred by allowing into evidence a prejudicial letter from a Bendix employee to an asbestos supplier in the 1960s which illustrated Honeywell’s knowledge of asbestos dangers. The appellate court ruled the judge should have redacted a prejudicial section.
The three-judge panel also determined Feder should have included third parties on the verdict form so jurors could apportion comparative fault and Guilder’s children were not entitled to loss of consortium.
The court also ruled Honeywell was entitled to have the verdict set off by the $2.8 million Guilder obtained in settlements with other defendants.
If you or a family member has been personally injured because of the fault of someone else: by the use of dangerous and defective drugs, bad products, or toxic injury etc then please contact the Dallas Texas Asbestos Mesothelioma Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 817-255-4001 or Contact Me Online.
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