More on Milton Ferrell


I’ve already covered the tragic loss of Milton Ferrell, and our condolences go out to his many friends and family.

Today’s Herald story adds some heartbreaking dimension to his final days:

The scene unfolding in the intensive-care unit was extraordinary.

Milton M. Ferrell Jr. — a second-generation Miami lawyer, philanthropist and Democratic Party activist just nine days past his 57th birthday — lay dying. The primary cause: mesothelioma, an asbestos-linked cancer that cost him a lung in May.

Although it had spread to his brain, stomach, hip and remaining right lung, Ferrell rejected painkillers. He needed to stay sharp for his final legal battle.

Surrounded by wife Lori, son Morgan, daughter Whitney, and 10 lawyers, Ferrell gave a 3 ½-hour video deposition Friday for a lawsuit he filed just days earlier.

That done, ”he lived another 15 hours and 45 minutes,” said Coral Gables lawyer Jim Ferraro, who’s representing Ferrell’s estate in the litigation, filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

Unreal. But I scoured the article to get a better understanding of how this fine, refined, and wealthy lawyer contracted mesothelioma. This is the causal link alleged in the complaint:

The suit accuses the Big Three automakers and several brake manufacturers of causing his disease by marketing an ”unreasonably dangerous” product, and failing to warn of its hazards.

The former Miami-Dade County Assistant State’s Attorney-turned-defense lawyer-turned counsel to foreign governments and billionaires, had worked on cars in his youth, inhaling asbestos fibers during brake jobs, the complaint says.

His father, also an attorney, ”wanted his son to have a good work ethic,” Ferraro said. “He didn’t just write him checks.”

I don’t do this litigation, but is this a common claim? It strikes me as an uphill causation battle, although it’s a complete mystery to me how he could have otherwise contracted this rare and horrific disease.

RIP Mr. Ferrell.