Ohio court upholds asbestos verdict vs PPG unit

An Ohio court upheld a $1.6 million asbestos-related verdict awarded to a steelworker who worked with products made by a unit of PPG Industries, the law firm representing the plaintiff said on Thursday.

The ruling against Pittsburgh Corning is the latest in a string of asbestos-related court settlements that is rattling the United States manufacturing sector.The Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals in Cleveland unanimously upheld the verdict first awarded in 2000 to the family of Joseph Cicchillo, said the law firm of Kelley & Ferraro.The firm is involved in more than 25,000 other asbestos-related cases in Ohio, it said. Cicchillo had worked for Trumbull County LTV, the law firm said.

The decision allows the Cicchillo family to sue the distributors of Pittsburgh Corning's asbestos products, Michael Kelley, managing partner of the law firm said.

Shares in chemical maker PPG Industries Inc., which said it owns 50 percent of Pittsburgh Corning, fell $1.78, or 3.68 percent, to close at $46.59 on the New York Stock Exchange. Pittsburgh Corning, which made asbestos pipe covering from 1962 to 1972, filed for federal bankruptcy protection in April 2000, Kelley & Ferraro said.

An explosion of asbestos-related legal claims is hammering many of the most recognized U.S. manufacturing names, threatening to send some into bankruptcy, warn money managers.

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