September 21, 2023

$6 million awarded in asbestos lawsuit against Ford, others

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis jury has ruled that Ford Motor Co. and other companies must pay $6 million to a Missouri family over claims that a woman’s death was caused by exposure to asbestos, including from dust generated during brake repairs.

Linda Behling of Springfield died of mesothelioma at age 70 in 2019. Jurors sided on Oct. 31 with Behling’s husband, son and daughter after a trial that lasted more than two weeks.

Behling and her husband worked at manufacturing companies in the Springfield area, and the lawsuit alleged that work was connected to her illness.

Lawyers for the family said Ford failed to provide warning that asbestos was present in dust created during repairs of vehicle brakes.

Ford attorneys said Behling’s exposure to the dust was limited and the family failed to prove it contributed to her illness.

A statement from Ford offered sympathy to the family, but said an appeal is planned.

In another case heard in St. Louis in March, a jury awarded $20 million to a St. Louis County man who sued Ford.

William Trokey claimed exposure to asbestos while fixing Ford brakes as a gas station mechanic in the 1960s led to his mesothelioma. Ford appealed that verdict.