A jury in Connecticut awarded $20 million to the widow of John Peckham, who died of mesothelioma in 2020. Mr. Peckham was exposed to asbestos using the DAP ’33’ window glazing compound, produced and supplied by DAP and Vanderbilt Minerals LLC.
The jury found both companies liable for producing and supplying the window glaze that Peckham was exposed to in the 1960s while working as a temporary employee for the Webster Spring Co. and Moore-Kirk Pharmaceutical.
The jury awarded Ms. Peckham $15 million as executrix of her husband’s estate and an additional $5 million for loss of consortium while also finding that punitive damages should be awarded.
The complaint alleged that the companies were aware of the dangers of asbestos as early as the 1920s and 1930s but failed to acknowledge or make public their knowledge.
The jury found Vanderbilt to be a successor-in-interest to International Talc Co., which had sold the products that John Peckham said exposed him to asbestos.
The jury also found that the products were defective and dangerous when sold. The companies did not warn users about the dangers they posed, apportioning 50% of the fault to each defendant company after a seven-week trial.
The attorney representing the Peckhams said that “manufacturers and suppliers have long known about the dangers of asbestos but have chosen to place profits over safety. The results are preventable tragedies like what happened here.”
The verdict is one of the largest against DAP and Vanderbilt and a record-breaking verdict for asbestos cases in Connecticut.
This verdict highlights the need for companies to prioritize safety and adequately inform consumers of the risks associated with their products.
Asbestos-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma, can take decades to develop. Holding companies accountable for the harm caused by their products, particularly when they refuse to accept responsibility and knowingly put consumers’ health at risk, is crucial.