Established in 1925, Chrysler is one of the best-known motor vehicle companies in the world. Headquartered in the Auburn Hills part of Michigan, Chrysler Corporation is responsible for manufacturing motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts. Over the years, Chrysler has also been also known to expose many people to the dangers of asbestos.The Chrysler Corporation and Asbestos Usage
Established in 1925 by Walter Chrysler, the Chrysler Corporation grew to become one of the biggest motor vehicle manufacturing operations in the United States. In addition to becoming a leading motor vehicle manufacturer, Chrysler also became a top manufacturer of motor vehicle parts.
Unfortunately, countless Chrysler motor vehicle parts, such as crutches, were manufactured with asbestos. The workers who were tasked with handling these products came into direct and frequent contact with asbestos.
In 1998, Chrysler changed its name to DaimlerChrysler Motors Company in recognition of the company’s new partnership with Daimler-Benz of Germany.
Following financial hardship, Daimler-Benz sold off its Chrysler shares for over $7 billion in 2007. The company’s name was changed to Chrysler Holding LLC and divided into the subsidiaries of Chrysler Motors LLC and Chrysler Financial Services LLC.
Chrysler was left unable to cope financially, and in 2009, the company pursued bankruptcy. The federal government provided $6 billion if the company joined Fiat. As a result, Chrysler merged with Fiat to create Fiat Chrysler.Chrysler’s Bankruptcy and Resulting Asbestos Trust Fund
In 2009, Chrysler was required to file for bankruptcy and created a trust fund to pay for the various health costs of former workers who now faced asbestos.
In the beginning of 2010, the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust was created and covered over 860,000 members. The trust fund pays for various costs including medical bills related to asbestos-related illnesses.
During bankruptcy, the company tried to transfer its existing and active asbestos lawsuits to bankruptcy court in the hopes of receiving dismissal on a national level. A federal judge refused Chrysler’s request and remanded that all asbestos claims against the company be transferred to the state courts in which they were filed.Asbestos Litigation and Chrysler
Various lawsuits have named Chrysler as a defendant and have been filed by previous workers of the company as well as other workers in the motor vehicle industry who handled Chrysler’s products.
In one 2007 New York case, a jury awarded a man $5 million in a lawsuit against Chrysler. The man developed mesothelioma following his exposure to Chrysler’s brakes, which are known to contain asbestos. The man was employed at a brake company in Brooklyn from the 1960s until the 1980s, where he stripped old brakes and replaced them. At trial, the man presented evidence that Chrysler was aware of the harm presented by the asbestos-containing brake pads but failed to place warning labels on them. Ultimately, the jury determined that Chrysler was 10% responsible for the overall damage. The jury, however, noted that because Chrysler acted with “Reckless disregard” when it came to the safety of others, Chrysler was responsible for 80% of the verdict.Speak With a Knowledgeable Asbestos Exposure Attorney
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos, one of the best things that you can do is to obtain the assistance of an experienced asbestos lawyer. Contact the Throneberry Law Group. Contact us by calling (888) 506-1131 to schedule a free case evaluation.