Covil Corp. Seeks to Overturn $33 Million Verdict in North Carolina

NORTH CAROLINA — In October, the plaintiff, Ann Finch, prevailed against Covil Corp. in a mesothelioma case involving her husband’s workplace exposure at Firestone. Covil made asbestos insulation that Mr. Finch worked around daily while changing molds on tire presses. The plaintiffs were awarded $32.7 million by the jury, which found that Covil failed to warn Mr. Finch that there was asbestos present in the insulation and that it posed a hazard to his health.

Covil has filed a motion to overturn the verdict or, in the alternative, for a new trial, arguing that the case was tried like a punitive damages matter even though the plaintiffs’ punitive damages claim was dismissed at summary judgment. The company argued that the court improperly admitted character evidence against Covil, prohibited the introduction of rebuttal evidence relevant to its continuing duty to warn, and forced Covil to stipulate to prejudicial and irrelevant portions of a co-worker’s testimony.