Mesothelioma Victim’s Claim Against Ford Motor Co. To Move Forward

A mesothelioma diagnosis is devastating in many ways. One of the most disappointing moments for victims comes when they learn that their illness was preventable: companies that used asbestos in their products were aware of its dangers and yet continued to use the mineral in order to continue reaping big profits. Ford Motor Company is one of these companies, and as a result they have faced numerous lawsuits filed by mesothelioma victims and their survivors, and the latest of these was filed by the family of Victor Michel, a mechanic and generator service technician who died of peritoneal mesothelioma after years of working on engines and brakes manufactured by the automotive giant. Though Ford Motor Company filed a motion for summary judgment against the family, arguing that they couldn’t show that Ford’s products contributed to Michel’s mesothelioma, the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana denied the company’s motion, indicating that the determination of causation is a question of fact for a jury to decide.

Mesothelioma Diagnosis Comes After Years of Servicing Automotive Brakes

According to the testimony already provided via deposition, before being diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, Mr. Michel spent most of his career working at Gulf Bottlers and Crescent Ford, servicing automobile brakes on Ford trucks. He also worked at Menge Pump, where he replaced gaskets on other engines, manufactured by another company also named in his claim.  His expert witnesses have submitted testimony indicating that they believe that his work would have exposed him to significant amounts of asbestos, and certainly enough to have led to his mesothelioma. Ford’s attorneys have argued that those experts’ testimony should be excluded and that therefore there is not enough proof of causation for the case to move forward.

Court Admits Witness Testimony, Explains why Summary Judgment Isn’t Applicable

In handing down its decision on whether the mesothelioma lawsuit can move forward, the judges provided a comprehensive explanation of the rules for granting summary judgment, demonstrating that it is only warranted when there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact.  In this case, they say, there is a dispute, and there is enough evidence that a verdict could be reached on behalf of the plaintiff. As a result, the case will move forward.

Mesothelioma victims face numerous challenges, but there are many sources of support available. To learn how the Patient Advocates at can help, contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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