In this federal court case, it was alleged that the plaintiff, Gregory Cannard, was exposed to asbestos insulation while serving in the Navy from 1965 to 1967, and while working for Lomac Motors from 1975 to 1978, where he allegedly ground asbestos head gaskets from Ford Motor Co. (Ford). At the time of trial, Ford was the only remaining defendant. At trial, the plaintiffs argued that the Navy and automotive exposures were indivisible and no single product could be identified as the cause of Mr. Cannard’s disease. Ford argued that Mr. Cannard’s exposure in the Navy was the cause of his mesothelioma.
Ford’s trial brief argued that the plaintiffs failed the proximate cause standard, since their expert, Dr. Carl Brodkin, could only testify that “Mr. Cannard’s exposure to chrysotile asbestos at Lomac increased his risk of developing the disease. He will not say that the work at Lomac proximately caused Mr. Cannard’s disease because he agrees Mr. Cannard’s amphibole exposure in the Navy was sufficient to cause the disease, and he cannot conclude that Mr. Cannard’s exposure at Lomac was independently sufficient to cause the disease.”
The jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Ford, finding against the plaintiffs’ product liability claims and negligence claims against Ford.