A Los Angeles, California jury returned a mesothelioma verdict which found American Optical Corporation substantially responsible for a machinist’s mesothelioma. The jury also found that the respiratory equipment manufacturer knew its product couldn’t prevent dangerous asbestos exposure and hid that fact from purchasers. (William and Becky Tyler v. American Optical Corporation, Case No. BC588866, Los Angeles County Superior Court)
Louis William Tyler worked for Foundry Service and Supply in Torrance, California from 1972 to 1992. He used an American Optical respirator for 17 years, expecting that it would protect him from breathing asbestos dust. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma at age 62.
Company documents revealed that American Optical knew its customers were using the R2090 respirator in asbestos work sites, and no significant efforts were made to stop that.
Mesothelioma Verdict Amount
After one day of deliberation in the month-long trial, the jury awarded $22.8 million in compensatory damages in favor of Mr. Tyler and his wife Becky. Days later the jury cracked down on American Optical Corporation with $10 million in punitive damages for marketing a faulty respirator. This was the first time that the company had been hit with a punitive-damages verdict for its sale of defective respirators.
Mr. and Mrs. Tyler were represented at trial by Kazan Law partners Joe Satterley and Denyse Clancy, associate Mark Swanson and former associate Joe Nicholson.