Conflicting Asbestos Testimony Leads Judge to Allow Mesothelioma Case to Proceed

Mesothelioma lawsuits are all about getting justice. A person who has been diagnosed with the rare and fatal form of cancer – or sometimes their surviving loved ones – is seeking compensation for the loss that they have suffered as a result of a company exposing them to the carcinogenic material that caused their illness and eventual death. Though the mesothelioma victim has no doubt about how they were exposed, their memory for the details may be fuzzy decades after the exposure took place, while the asbestos companies will work hard to confuse and contradict them. In a recent case in the New York Asbestos Litigation court, a man who was exposed as an apprentice and union carpenter back in the early 1960s was pitted against multiple representatives of an asbestos products company. After listening to both sides, the judge in the case ruled that a jury deserved to hear the story and make a decision.

Carpenter Diagnosed With Mesothelioma Testifies Before His Death

Louis Stiglitz died of malignant mesothelioma in December of 2018, but before his death he spent four days giving deposition testimony about how he believed he was exposed to asbestos during his years as an apprentice and union carpenter. He recalled working with products made by the Homasote Company, including board products used as bulletin boards and fireproofing.

Though Mr. Stiglitz blamed his mesothelioma on asbestos in products that he worked with on construction sites from 1961 through 1966, remembering a variety of terms for the board and things that may or may not have been printed on the board, the company brought in representatives arguing that he had the name of the product wrong, as well as other minor details about its appearance and that therefore his testimony should be disallowed and the case dismissed, but their own representatives gave conflicting information as well.

Judge Denies Motion for Dismissal in Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Writing on his decision in the mesothelioma lawsuit, Justice of the Supreme Court Manuel J. Mendez wrote that “A defendant cannot obtain summary judgment simply by “pointing to gaps in plaintiffs’ proof” and that in order to prevail they must “unequivocally establish that the decedent’s exposure to its board products did not contribute to the development of his mesothelioma.”

As a result of the fact that there were “conflicting statements provided by defendant” and that Mr. Stiglitz “also provided internally conflicting testimony as to his exposure,” the judge ruled that the case should proceed to a jury for them to make a decision about the proof presented.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, the Patient Advocates at can provide you with information about how to proceed and where to get resources. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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