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NAPA Auto Parts ordered to pay $81.5M after cancer death

Ohio has traditionally been one of the largest manufacturers of plastics, metal products, appliances and rubber in the country. Historically, the manufacturing processes for these materials tended to involve the use of asbestos for insulation, which in turn resulted in a disproportionately high incidence of mesothelioma and cancer deaths linked to asbestos exposure. Ohio is by no means alone regarding incidents of asbestos-related illness, however.

A jury in another state recently found in favor of the family of a man who died due to complications from an asbestos-related disease. The defendants, NAPA Auto Parts and Genuine Parts Corp., were ordered to pay $81.5 million in damages, though they apparently intend to challenge the verdict. The deceased was a 67-year-old heavy-equipment operator who died of mesothelioma complications in 2015.

The man operated cranes, backhoes and various other types of construction equipment for a living which, the suit alleges, led him to purchase products that contained asbestos from NAPA stores. Additionally, as a hobby, the man restored classic cars, which also apparently led to him buying such products. However, at no time was the now-deceased man aware that he was being exposed to the cancer-causing material.

Despite the known hazards of asbestos exposure, many auto parts retailers continued to sell parts and products such as clutches, gaskets and brakes that contained the dangerous material as late as 2001, the suit asserts. Anyone in Ohio who was likewise unknowingly exposed to the material and subsequently developed cancer or other asbestos-related illnesses as a result may benefit from consulting an attorney. A lawyer with experience in asbestos litigation will have insight into any legal avenues and options available to victims of asbestos-exposure, including the surviving families of deceased victims.

Source: tirebusiness.com, "NAPA, GPC liable in asbestos case", Miles Moore, April 28, 2017

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