For purposes of this article, the victim in this case will be referred to as K.L.
In a recent court decision, a New York judge allowed a World Trade Center worker’s mesothelioma claim to proceed. When K.L. was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it was clear where his illness had come from. K.L. suffered asbestos exposure while working as a subcontracted employee at the World Trade Center when it was being built. K.L. worked at the WTC starting in 1972. According to the mesothelioma claim, ALCOA was to blame for K.L. suffering asbestos exposure. ALCOA, a general contractor, used asbestos-contaminated products close to where K.L. worked, resulting in K.L. suffering asbestos exposure. According to the mesothelioma claim, ALCOA created a dangerous condition for K.L. despite knowing about the dangers of asbestos.
After learning about the claims against them, ALCOA filed a motion for summary judgment. ALCOA argued that it should not have to defend itself against the claims. The defendant argued they did not supervise or control K.L.’s work as a sub-contracted employee. Additionally, ALCOA presented a memo dated May 15, 1970, that showed an agreement regarding the costs of switching to an asbestos-free product. In other words, the memo was meant to show that ALCOA had stopped using asbestos-containing materials by 1972, the time K.L. started working at the WTC.
In response to the petition, the court sided with K.L.’s estate that some issues of fact needed to be determined. The court concluded that the memo did not mean ALCOA switched to an asbestos-free product. The judge also concluded that, even if the switch had occurred, it did not mean that K.L. would not have suffered asbestos exposure when working at the World Trade Center. Ultimately, the judge determined that the case should go to a jury.
Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure
One of the potential health problems caused by asbestos exposure is malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma develops in the mesothelium, the layer of tissue covering most of a person’s internal organs. Usually, mesothelioma affects the pleura (the tissue surrounding the lungs). When mesothelioma affects the pleura, it is referred to as pleural mesothelioma. However, mesothelioma can also affect the tissue in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), around the heart (pericardial mesothelioma), and around the testicles (testicular mesothelioma). The rarest form of mesothelioma is testicular mesothelioma, whereas the most common type is pleural mesothelioma. Testicular mesothelioma makes up less than one percent of all mesothelioma cases. On the other hand, about 70% to 75% of mesothelioma cases occur in the pleura.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and fatal form of cancer. It is estimated that about 2,500 mesothelioma-related deaths occur in the United States every year.
When someone dies because of mesothelioma, surviving loved ones have the right to seek compensation from the party or parties responsible for their loved one’s illness. Usually, this is the party or parties responsible for exposing the victim to asbestos. Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers
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 pay for your medical treatment.