California Appellate Court Upholds $6.8 Million Verdict Against Ford Motor Company in Mesothelioma Case

Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood is pleased that justice was achieved not only for its client, but for all mesothelioma victims when a California Appellate Court recently upheld two important principles in asbestos law.

On November 19, 2012, an Alameda County jury returned a $6,825,000 verdict against Ford Motor Company for Kazan Law client Patrick Scott, a former service-station owner. (Patrick Scott and Sharon Scott v. Allied Packing & Supply, Ford Motor Company, et al, Alameda County Superior Court No. RG12613671) According to court documents, Mr. Scott was exposed to asbestos from car parts made by Ford Motor Company since the 1960’s. The jury found that Ford’s products were defectively designed, that Ford failed to warn Mr. Scott, and that Ford was negligent, apportioning 22% liability to Ford.

According to court documents, Ford argued that Scott was a “sophisticated user” who should have known the dangers of Ford’s products. In a published opinion in Scott v. Ford Motor Co., No. A137975, Division One of the First Appellate District first rejected Ford’s argument because Ford insisted during the trial that those dangers were not scientifically established when Scott was exposed. The opinion notes that there are different standards for what Scott as owner of a “local automotive business,” was expected to know compared to what Ford, a “large international business directly involved in the manufacture of the products” should have known.

The opinion also reinstates the Scotts’ claim for punitive damages, which the lower court had rejected because the law in Michigan, where Ford is headquartered, disallows punitive damages. The appeals court decided California law is what matters so that Ford would not get “a nationwide shield from punitive damage liability,” to sell defective products in California and every other state without fear of punishment.

The Scotts were represented at jury trial by several Kazan Law attorneys led by Justin Bosl and Joseph Satterley. Ted Pelletier and the Kazan Law appellate and motions team handled the appellate case.


Steven Kazan


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