NEW YORK (June 24, 2011)—Goodyear said it will appeal verdicts totaling $22 million against it and Goodyear Canada in an asbestos-related lung cancer case involving two now-deceased Goodyear employees.
According to the lawsuit, Walter Koczur was a steamfitter at various Buffalo-area job sites between 1969 and 1973, and was exposed to Goodyear gaskets containing asbestos during that time. Eugene “Mac” McCarthy, a heavy equipment engine mechanic in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was also exposed to asbestos-containing Goodyear gaskets, the lawsuits stated.
Both Koczur and McCarthy died of lung cancer in 1998. Although the jury held their smoking habits mostly to blame for their disease, they still found Goodyear and Goodyear Canada partly to blame.
On June 21 of this year, the jury found Goodyear 27-percent responsible and Goodyear Canada 18-percent responsible for Koczur's death. It awarded the Koczur family $11.6 million, plus $1.9 million to Dorothy Koczur, Koczur's wife, for loss of consortium.
The jury also found Goodyear 7-percent responsible and Goodyear Canada 5-percent responsible in the death of McCarthy and awarded the McCarthy family $8.5 million.
In a statement, Goodyear said it was disappointed in the verdicts.
“Goodyear believes the verdicts were made against the weight of the evidence,” the Akron-based company said. “Both plaintiffs had extensive smoking histories and showed no objective evidence of asbestos-related illness.”