A New York City court recently struck down a defendant’s attempt in a mesothelioma cancer lawsuit to have the case thrown out on summary judgment, thus allowing the case to proceed on to trial and allow the victim’s widow to pursue justice on behalf of her deceased husband. The three-judge panel of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York County upheld the trial judge’s decision to deny defendant’s Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to dismiss the case on the grounds that the plaintiff had attempted to introduce evidence that would be inadmissible under the law.
According to the mesothelioma cancer lawsuit, filed in 2017, the victim worked at the Pan Am Unit Terminal Building at JFK International Airport during the 1970s while employed by Pan Am Airlines. During that time, according to the lawsuit, the victim was routinely exposed to asbestos fibers emanating from ongoing construction, particularly by the sanding of sheetrock manufactured by Georgia-Pacific. The lawsuit asserts that the sheet rock used in the renovations of the terminal where the victim was employed contained asbestos fibers, and that this exposure is what caused the victim’s terminal mesothelioma cancer diagnosis, which he succumbed to in 2016.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was onced used in a variety of industrial, commercial, construction applications as an insulation and building material. Unfortunately, asbestos fibers are also carcinogenic and despite knowing this public health risk for decades, many asbestos companies continued to use the material and put profits over the value of people.
Attorneys for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had sought to dismiss the case because the decedent had not been deposed and had testimony taken before his passing, and that much of the case was built on testimony of the victim’s coworker who could not be knowledge to certain key facts as they apply under the law. Fortunately for the plaintiff, the panel of judges hearing the defendant’s appeal noted that there was ample testimony by other witnesses to fulfill the plaintiff’s legal requirements to be able to substantiate certain criteria in order for the case to proceed to trial.
The case is another example of the lengths to which defendants in mesothelioma cancer lawsuits will go in order to deny, delay, and defend otherwise meritorious claims brought by victims and their families. With so much on the line, it is important for plaintiffs in asbestos lawsuits to have experienced and dedicated legal counsel able to fully prosecute such claims and hold wrongdoers accountable.
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If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced 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.