The family of a Bloomington, Illinois man who died of mesothelioma was awarded $2.6 million by a McLean County jury earlier this week.
According to an article in the Bloomington Pantagraph, John Watkins succumbed to mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused cancer, in September 2005. He was exposed to asbestos when he worked at the Union Asbestos & Rubber Co. in Bloomington – later known as Unarco Industries Inc. – during the summer of 1962 and 1963. At that time, he was not warned of the dangers of working with asbestos, the plaintiffs noted.
The jury found that Honeywell International Inc. “had conspired with other companies, including Unarco, Johns-Manville, Raybestos-Manhattan, Owens-Illinois, Owens Corning and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. to suppress information about the hazards of asbestos, including an agreement not to warn their employees and customers about the hazards of asbestos,” the family’s lawyers said after the verdict. Honeywell merged with Bendix, who used to own the now-defunct Unarco asbestos plant, thus their involvement in the suit.
It took the jury only four hours to deliberate and come to a decision. There is no word as to whether Honeywell International will appeal the verdict.