Asbestos can cause many health problems, including mesothelioma and asbestosis. There are different types of asbestos, and all can cause health problems. People who have suffered asbestos exposure and developed severe health problems have the right to take legal action against those who are to blame for their exposure. Often, asbestos exposure victims blame their exposure on producers, bosses, and others who had the duty to protect them. The family of such a victim filed a mesothelioma claim against a general contractor who failed to uphold his responsibility to provide workers with a safe working environment. The defendant tried to have the lawsuit dismissed, but the court ruled that the case should proceed to court and be decided by a jury.
After M.F. developed mesothelioma, a lawsuit was filed for his estate seeking compensation from multiple defendants. One of the defendants named in the case is Structure Tone, a general contractor. According to the lawsuit, the G.C. is guilty of negligence and violating NY’s Labor Law 200. Negligence claims in NY are based on a person’s duty to give the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would under the same circumstances. Negligence relies upon an individual having power over the action that resulted in harm. The state’s labor law in question here follows the same principles. In this case, the plaintiff claims that the G.C. failed to provide workers with a reasonably safe working environment and that the failure to provide a safe working environment resulted in asbestos exposure and, thus, the development of mesothelioma.
The general contractor filed a motion to dismiss the claim on the ground that it could not have contributed to the victim’s illness. According to the courts, a party facing negligence accusations in a mesothelioma claim or another similar claim can have the case dismissed if they can unambiguously show they could not have played a part in causing the victim’s injury or illness. In other words, they can have the case dismissed if they provide evidence that convinces the court, without any doubt, that they couldn’t have contributed to the victim’s injury or illness. According to the G.C., M.F.’s testimony didn’t show he had suffered asbestos exposure at the locations he could remember working. The company’s executive V.P. also provided testimony that the company and its subcontractors hadn’t used asbestos-contaminated materials.
After reviewing the company’s argument, the court found that although the named sites were the only locations where M.F. had encountered the company, he had testified having worked with the company’s personnel at up to 30 sites. It’s just that he could only specifically remember the named addresses. Also, the court found that the executive V.P. had no personal knowledge about the issue he had testified to. The company failed to “unequivocally” prove that it couldn’t have played a part in causing the victim’s mesothelioma. Therefore, the court ordered that the case will go to trial and be decided by a jury.
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If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.