Court Holds Garlock Accountable for Reckless Disregard of Americans’ Health and Safety in Decades-Long Asbestos Cover-up

Dayton Dexter worked as a pipefitter for almost forty years, and nearly every work day, he was exposed to asbestos manufactured by Garlock Sealing Technologies. As a result, he developed lung cancer, which he tragically succumbed to in 2004.

Like many victims of asbestos poisoning, Dayton and his family sought to hold Garlock and the asbestos industry accountable for hiding the dangers of their products from millions of Americans. But Garlock notoriously refuses to take responsibility for its wrongdoing, and routinely lies to courts by denying it knew asbestos was dangerous. Garlock has claimed – under oath – that because of this ignorance, it didn’t know it had an obligation to warn Americans of its deadly product. 

Recently, one judge actually bought Garlock’s fictitious narrative, but Dayton’s case has revealed Garlock’s cowardly attempts to cover up its role in poisoning and killing Americans. This week, a Kentucky appellate court upheld Dayton’s trial court victory, finding that Garlock:

“…knew of the dangers of asbestos exposure in the 1940s yet failed to warn of it until the late 1970s. This failure amounts to a ‘reckless disregard for the health and safety of the pipefitters grinding and removing the gaskets.’”

Thanks to this ruling, Dayton and his family received justice for his death and, more importantly, Garlock was punished for its egregious behavior. This decision upholds an award of punitive damages, which are only awarded in the rare instances when conduct like Garlock’s is so insidious that an additional monetary award is necessary to deter Garlock and others from continuing to engage in the conduct.

Asbestos is the quintessential example of corporations knowing that they were marketing deadly products and covering up the evidence to protect their profits. The asbestos industry hid the dangers for more than half a century – killing hundreds of thousands of Americans in the process – until the civil justice system finally revealed the wrongdoing and allowed victims to seek justice.

Garlock has attempted to continue this cover up, but, thanks to Dayton’s case, the civil justice system has was again uncovered Garlock’s blatant disregard for human life.
Asbestos exposure causes approximately 10,000 deaths every year, and asbestos is still legal in the United States. Time is of the essence – most victims of asbestos-related diseases die within one to two years after diagnosis.

The asbestos industry must be held accountable for exposing millions of Americans to this deadly toxin.