A jury ordered Ford Motor Co. to pay $10 million to the family of a Michigan woman who died of mesothelioma in 2000. Carolyn Miller, of Dearborn, Michigan, died at the age of 54, from the rare cancer she acquired during childhood from hand washing asbestos-covered work clothes of her father, John Roland, who worked at a Ford plant in Michigan from 1953 to 1964.
Work in the blast furnaces brought John in close contact with the asbestos, which he brought home on his clothes daily. While his daughter developed and died from mesothelioma, John suffers from pleural plaques, or a scarring on the lungs, also consistent with asbestos exposure. John's family attorney claims this condition predisposes Roland for developing the cancer as well.
After eight hours of deliberation, a Texas jury practicing under Michigan law found for the Miller family, awarding $4.5 million to Miller's estate; $500,000 to John Roland; $750,000 to Miller's mother, Alma Roland: $1.5 million to Miller's daughter; and $2.75 million to Miller's husband, Glenn. The Roland family attorney states that the damages were not intended to punish Ford Motor Co., but simply to compensate the Miller family for their loss.