McLean County jury awards $89.6 million in asbestos suit

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2011 | Verdicts |

James Wylder and Andrew Kelly of the Bloomington law firm Wylder Corwin Kelly, LLP were the lawyers representing Charles Gillenwater in a 5 week trial in which a McLean County jury returned a verdict in the total amount of $89,600,000 against defendants Honeywell International, Inc., Pneumo Abex, LLC, Owens-Illinois, Inc. and John Crane, Inc.

The jury assessed compensatory damages in the amount of $9,600,000 against all 4 defendants. The jury further assessed punitive damages against defendant, Honeywell International, Inc. in the amount of $20,000,000, Pneumo Abex, LLC in the amount of $20,000,000, and against defendant Owens-Illinois, Inc. in the amount of $40,000,000.

Fifty-nine year old Charles Gillenwater contracted mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while working as a pipefitter in the 1970s at jobsites in Central Illinois, including at Bridgestone/Firestone, Illinois State University and Eureka Company here in Bloomington-Normal. Gillenwater was never warned of the dangers of asbestos.

The jury found Defendants, Honeywell International, Inc., Pneumo Abex, LLC, and Owens-Illinois, Inc., either themselves or through their corporate predecessors, conspired with other companies, including UNARCO, Johns-Manville, Raybestos-Manhattan, Owens Corning and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, to suppress information about the hazards of asbestos, including an agreement not to warn their employees and customers about the hazards of asbestos.

The five week trial was held in McLean County in front of Judge Scott Drazewski. The jury deliberated over parts of 2 days.