Asbestos is nothing to be messed with. Although the substance was handled in many different trades and used within thousands of products, if the microscopic fibers are inhaled by an individual, deadly diseases can develop over time.
In the case of John Panza, a professor at the Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, OH, second-hand asbestos exposure from his father led to his own mesothelioma diagnosis. Panza’s father, a worker at the Eaton Airflex break company for thirty-one years, routinely brought home asbestos dust on his clothing and unknowingly exposed his son to the substance.
Panza’s father handled asbestos brake pads manufactured by the former National Friction Products Corporation. Brake pads were commonly made with asbestos before the 1980s and continue to break down and release the substance around auto mechanics to this day.
An eight-member jury found Kelsey-Hayes, the Michigan-based successor to National Friction Products Corp, responsible for Panza’s illness and awarded him and his family $27 Million in economic and non-economic damages.