AOC Hit With $16M Asbestos Verdict Over Faulty Respirator

By Bonnie Eslinger (April 22, 2016, 11:06 PM EDT) -- A California jury on Friday ruled American Optical Corporation must pay a former machinist who developed incurable mesothelioma at least $16 million, along with possible punitive damages, finding the respiratory equipment manufacturer knew its product couldn't prevent dangerous asbestos exposure and hid that fact from purchasers.

The 12-member jury deliberated for one day before reaching a verdict in favor of plaintiff Louis William Tyler and determining that American Optical acted with "malice, fraud or oppression" in conduct that was a substantial factor in the 62-year-old man developing the cancer.

The jury awarded Tyler and his wife Becky $22 million and found...

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