Ford Faces Billion Dollar Payouts in Aussie Asbestos Cases
Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Western Australia ruled against Ford Australia in an asbestos related lawsuit. The Geelong Advertiser reports that FoMoCo was "ordered to pay Perth motor mechanic Antonino Lo Presti $840,000 after contracting asbestosis in 2001 from working with brake pads in the 1970s and '80s. The court heard Mr Lo Presti was working in Ford dealerships without protective equipment, ventilation or warnings, long before asbestos was banned in 2003." The ruling– which determined that Ford knew the risks to mechanics but failed to take action– is sure to open the floodgates for a class action lawsuit. If the thousands of motor mechs who worked on Ford's asbestos brake pads Down Under get a fraction of Lo Presti's payout, this one will heavily damage an already sinking ship.
I knew a guy (from the "Guy Who Knew a Guy" files) that took a temporary job with a HAZMAT kind of company removing asbestos laden coatings from the inside of buildings. He made very good money. Had to wear a hazmat suit all day. Not a fun job but, he was raising a family... Point is...that was in the early 1980's. We knew of the dangers then. And this was going on in Australia well in to the 2000's? How? Why?
Lawyers have gotten very rich from the hindsight of litigation.
Good Lord; between Pintos bursting into flames, Explorers toppling over, SUVs burning folks' houses down, and now this...it's no wonder Ford's in the shitter.