A New York City judge recently handed down an important ruling in a mesothelioma cancer lawsuit allowing the plaintiff's claim against a boiler company to continue rebuffing the defendant's legal maneuvers to have the case dismissed before it could be heard by a jury. Attorneys for defendant Kohler Co. asked the judge to throw out the case on summary judgement, claiming there was a similar case in New York's asbestos courts, which barred the plaintiffs from suing the company.
The case was brought by a retired clean up crew worker who worked from 1958 to 1966 and was responsible for removing boiler parts manufactured by Kohler Co. after they had been disassembled. The plaintiff eventually developed mesothelioma and filed a lawsuit against Kohler Co., claiming that he frequently came in contact with frayed gaskets that contained asbestos. The plaintiff ultimately passed away after his battle with mesothelioma in 2016, leaving his estate to take up the claim in court.
In their mesothelioma cancer lawsuit, the plaintiffs claimed that Kohler Co. should have known that maintenance companies would repair and replace boilers with parts manufactured with deadly asbestos fibers. In their motion for summary judgement, attorneys for the defendant pointed out that Kohler Co. did not manufacture the asbestos-laden parts itself and that the removal of parts after dismantling was not a foreseeable use of the product and that therefore the company owed no duty of care to anybody who was carrying parts away.
Kohler Co.'s attorneys went on to cite a New York asbestos lawsuit ruling in favor of defendants sued by a salvage worker who claimed he developed mesothelioma in the course of his duties tearing down and removing asbestos-contaminated materials. In that case, the judge ruled that the defendants could not be held liable because they could have no way of knowing their products would be treated in such a rough and careless manner.
However, the judge in the case of this clean up crew worker dismissed the defendant's argument, pointing out the differences between the scope of work done by maintenance and salvage workers. The judge noted that Kohler Co. should have known their products would need replacement and repair by persons skilled in the process and therefore should have taken action to prevent foreseeable harm.
While asbestos has been effectively banned from use for many decades, it was once extremely popular in a variety of industrial and construction applications, particularly in boilers and steamfitting. Unfortunately, many workers did not know about the hidden risks of asbestos exposure and developed mesothelioma and other serious health conditions as a result.
Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona 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 to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.