A Fresco County Superior Court jury returned a multi-million dollar verdict in favor of the family of James Phillips on June 2, 2014. Mr. Phillips was an auto mechanic who was exposed to asbestos dust from automotive products while working on cars, heavy equipment, trucks and racecars. Defendant, Honeywell, the successor company that purchased Bendix, made asbestos containing the brake pads and linings.
The Fresno jury deliberated six days before rendering its verdict in favor of the Phillips family. The jury awarded $7.4 million in compensatory damages and assigned 30% of fault to Bendix. The jury also found that Bendix acted with reckless indifference and awarded an additional $3.5 million in punitive damages. This was the first mesothelioma verdict ever awarded in Fresno.
The lawsuit was filed in May of 2012. Mr. Phillips was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma in March of 2012. After nearly 11 months of treatment, James passed away from his asbestos-caused cancer. He leaves behind his wife of 41 years, five children and fourteen grandchildren.
Honeywell stated that it plans to appeal.