A Dallas County jury has awarded nearly $9 million to the survivors of a longtime Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) employee who died of complications from mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that forms in the lining of the lungs and is primarily caused by asbestos exposure.
Billy Dickson, a mechanical engineer at the Texas aerospace company for 38 years, died in 2013 at age 74. Jurors in the 95th District Court returned their verdict March 27 following a week-long trial and five hours of deliberations. They found there was “clear and convincing evidence” that Bell Helicopter was “grossly negligent” in exposing Mr. Dickson to asbestos.
Trial testimony showed that Mr. Dickson, who at one time tested components used to build helicopters for the Vietnam War, was often exposed to asbestos in amounts 200 times greater than is considered permissible by government safety standards.
“There was not a company-based respiratory protection policy in place during the time of Billy’s exposure. Asbestos air concentrations were so high that Mr. Dickson often found himself surrounded in clouds of asbestos dust,” said attorney Darren McDowell of Dallas-based Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett P.C., who along with Samuel Iola, represented the Dickson family. “It was an ungodly amount of asbestos exposure.”
Evidence at trial revealed Bell Helicopter knew it was exposing employees to unreasonably dangerous asbestos levels eight years before Mr. Dickson began working at the company’s plant in Hurst, Texas.
“They knew in 1955 that asbestos exposure could be fatal, but did not do anything until the mid-1970s, and then only semi-complied,” Mr. McDowell said. “Mr. Dickson was passionate about many things, including his grandchildren, the Texas Rangers and his job. He was the kind of worker who would do anything for his company. For Bell to have a total lack of regard for asbestos danger was absolutely heartbreaking to him.”
The case is Shirley Dickson, et al. v. Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., No. DC-12-05995-D.
Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, P.C. is a nationally recognized trial law firm with a reputation for creative and aggressive representation of clients in a wide variety of catastrophic personal injury matters nationwide.
- A New H145 Full Flight Simulator for the US
- Airbus recognized as a top employer in the Hamilton Niagara Region
- Carleton University leverages VABS Software for more realistic rotor blade simulation
- World’s First ISO Approved Drone Safety Standards announced
- Wiltshire Air Ambulance adds plasma to blood products carried
- The Official 2019 White House Christmas Ornament is a helicopter
- FAA releases list of OTC medications under Go and NoGo categories
- Helijet CEO receives HAC Lifetime Achievement award
- USHST Initiatives Aim to Cut Down Fatal Accidents
- Russian Helicopters and Pratt & Whitney Canada sign contract
- Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8 Conducts Change of Command
- Raytheon debuts portable V-22 virtual reality trainer
- Honeywell collaborates with autonomous control innovator Daedalean
- Hungary takes delivery of its first two H145Ms
- Life Link III to help launch new research academy
- US Helicopter Occupant Safety – FAA online toolkit
- MDFR Orders AW139
- Airbus signs Global Support Contract for Tiger
- Boston MedFlight will now carry life-saving blood products
- LADWP Launches Human External Cargo Program