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Asbestos-related Cancer Victim’s Family Wins $81.5 Verdict against NAPA and GPC

NAPA Auto Parts, along with its parent firm Genuine Parts Corporation, has to pay damages of $81.5 million to the family of a heavy equipment operator who passed away after developing mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer.

The Pierce County Superior Court (Tacoma) jury unanimously voted to rule that the defendants were strictly liable and negligent in the tragic death of Jerry Coogan, a Kettle Falls (Washington) resident. Genuine Parts said it would appeal the verdict.

It was in 2015 that Coogan died from malignant mesothelioma. Then he was 67 years old.

As part of his job, Coogan had to operate and repair construction equipment including backhoes and cranes. Additionally, Coogan restored classic cars and hot rods. For all these works, he bought products containing asbestos from NAPA Auto Parts stores close to his home, according to the plaintiffs’ attorney. Unfortunately, Coogan never knew he was being exposed to a hazardous carcinogen, the attorney said.

The sellers of gasket, clutches, brakes, and other friction parts were aware of the presence of asbestos in those products and also the hazardous physical properties of the mineral. However, they refused to acknowledge their responsibility, the attorney who represented Coogan’s family said. She said man auto parts dealers continued to sell parts containing asbestos as late as the 2000s.

A spokesman representing Genuine Parts referred to the 10-Q filing of the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on April 25. The document shows the ruling came down on 17th April. Genuine Parts Corporation said the company does not believe the verdict is supported by the law or facts. The company says it intends to appeal the verdict either through post-trial motions or to a higher court.

Mesothelioma Claims

Asbestos exposure is linked to quite a few severe injuries including fatal cancers such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. The victims can file mesothelioma claims seeking damages. However, the chance of victor depends on the mesothelioma lawyer you choose. So, in order to ensure victory, you must choose a mesothelioma attorney who has enough experience, resources, and a proven track record of success. Let’s help you choose the right lawyer. Please call us at 800-706-5606 or fill out our contact form.