September 13, 2017 in Case Summaries

Working closely with trial lawyer Chris Panatier, Jeff Levinger convinced the Dallas Court of Appeals to affirm a jury’s finding that the gross negligence of Goodyear at its tire manufacturing facility in Tyler caused its employee Carl Rogers to be exposed to significant amounts of asbestos, which resulted in his death from mesothelioma. Based on extensive expert testimony and historical data concerning the dangers of asbestos, the court of appeals upheld the jury’s finding that Goodyear’s conduct—especially its failure to monitor its employees’ exposure to asbestos for over ten years—involved an extreme degree of risk, and that Goodyear had subjective awareness of that risk but proceeded with conscious indifference to the safety of its employees. The court also rejected Goodyear’s argument that Rogers had not established causation by adequately ruling out the radiation that was used to successfully treat a previous bout with lung cancer. Finally, over a dissent by Justice Ada Brown, the majority suggested a remittitur of the damages awarded under the exemplary-damages cap statute based on its determination that the evidence did not support the entirety of the award for past and future economic damages. The Texas Supreme Court denied Goodyear’s petition for review after full briefing on the merits. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Rogers, 538 S.W.3d 637 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2017, pet. denied).

Courts: Supreme Court of Texas, Texas Intermediate Appellate Courts
Subject Matter: Products Liability & Personal Injury, Labor & Employment