Family of Bell Helicopter engineer awarded USD 8.8m by Dallas jury

A Dallas County jury has awarded nearly USD 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, Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, P.C. said.

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.

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.

Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, P.C. is a trial law firm representing clients in a wide variety of catastrophic personal injury matters nationwide.