The West Australian Court of Appeal on Friday ruled in Ford's favour, saying the company had to pay only between 50 and 60 per cent of his costs, after Antonino Lo Presti's family sought an order ruling the company pay the mechanic's full legal fees.
Mr Lo Presti, 59, became the first motor mechanic in Australia to win a successful negligence verdict against a car company for asbestos exposure when the WA Supreme Court in February last year ruled he was entitled to compensation.
The court awarded Mr Lo Presti - who died in April this year - $840,000 in damages for exposure to asbestos when he used an air compressor to blow out brake lines and drums while a mechanic at Ford dealerships in the 1970s and 1980s.
But the Supreme Court ordered Ford only had to pay a percentage of Mr Lo Presti's costs.
The mechanic's family appealed against the costs decision, saying the trial - brought after Ford rejected an offer to settle for $450,000 - left Mr Lo Presti with a legal bill of hundreds of thousands of dollars and argued Ford's rejection was unreasonable.
But the WA Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Ford, which now has to pay between 50 and 65 per cent of Mr Lo Presti's costs.
The legal proceedings began in 2002, two years after Mr Lo Presti was diagnosed with the fatal lung disease.