For purposes of this article, the victim in this case will be referred to as Mr. R.D.
In a recent court decision, Justice Adam Silvera of the New York Supreme Court denied two printing press companies’ motions to dismiss the mesothelioma claims filed against them. The two printing press companies tried to escape liability for the deceased victim’s asbestos exposure between the 1960s and 1980s. Justice Adam Silvera ruled that the victim’s testimony was strong enough to allow the case to proceed.
The victim in this case, Mr. R.D., was a printing press operator from the 1960s to the 1980s. It was during this time that R.D. was exposed to asbestos numerous times. Before passing away, the late mesothelioma victim filed lawsuits against two press companies he accused of being responsible for his asbestos exposure. The two companies are L3Harris Technologies Inc. and Heidelberg USA. Inc. printing presses. In his legal claim, Mr. R.D. said that he developed mesothelioma as a result of being exposed to brakes from Airflex, which L3Harris incorporated in their printing presses. As for the other defendant, Mr. R.D. claimed their presses also contained asbestos. According to the mesothelioma victim, the two companies exposed him to asbestos-contaminated parts in their machines without sufficient warnings of the dangers they posed.
In response to the claims against them, the two defendants submitted affidavits to the courts indicating that their presses didn’t use asbestos-contaminated friction brakes or any other asbestos-contaminated parts. Upon reviewing the affidavits, the judge found that L3Harris failed to prove that the company equipment could not have led to Mr. R.D. developing mesothelioma and specifically that the Harris representative who prepared the affidavit admitted that they did not know about the equipment till almost twenty years after R.D.’s first asbestos exposure through it. Likewise, the other company’s representative was not able to prove that he had not worked with the company’s equipment and did not have any knowledge of the presses during the period when Mr. R.D. had operated them.
Contrary to the two defendants’ arguments, Judge Silvera said the late mesothelioma victim was able to provide clear testimony. The judge said that Mr. R.D. was able to provide clear details about his exposure to Harris and Heidelberg’s printing presses at different work locations and with important and detailed particulars. While the two defendants tried to simplify R.D.’s testimony as mere descriptions of “dust,” Justice Silvera said that Mr. R.D. had given clear details about his extensive work experience, his understanding of the different printing press parts, and the companies that made the different parts, encounters with the various printing press parts, and the reasons for his claims. Ultimately, Justice Silvera denied both of the defendants’ motions to dismiss.
With the motions denied, the case will proceed to trial, and a jury will decide the outcome. Mr. R.D.’s surviving family members have an opportunity to see justice prevail.
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