Calif. couple awarded $27.3M in O-I lawsuit

Company plans appeal of asbestos-case verdict


A California couple has won a multimillion-dollar asbestos lawsuit against Owens-Illinois Inc.

Rose-Marie Grigg and her current husband, Martin Grigg, were awarded a combined sum of $27.3 million from an Oakland jury last week. Mrs. Grigg suffers from asbestos-caused mesothelioma and was exposed to it when cleaning her ex-husband's work clothing.

The 82-year-old’s ex-husband was an insulator who came into contact with Owens-Illinois’ Kaylo brand insulation from 1950-1958.

“The Grigg family is very happy the jury found the truth and saw the company knew the dangers of the product and had tested it back in the ’30s and ’40s,” said Joe Satterley, the couple’s attorney. “They were responsible, at least in part, for the resulting cancer.”

The couple declined to comment, Mr. Satterley said.

The jury award was broken down into several amounts: Mrs. Grigg was granted $12 million in damages for her pain and suffering and Mr. Grigg received $4 million in damages for his loss of consortium and $342,500 in economic damages. The jury also levied $11 million in punitive damages against Owens-Illinois.

Ryan McCarthy, a spokesman for Perrysburg-based Owens-Illinois, said the glass-materials manufacturer was disappointed in the verdict.

“The company intends to appeal and expects to prevail as it has in other similar cases,” he wrote in a statement to The Blade. “O-I does not anticipate any changes to its financial outlook as a result of this ruling.”

Owens-Illinois has come under legal fire for asbestos related cases in the past. The firm showed $155 million in asbestos-related liabilities on its first-quarter results.