Court Denies Attempt to Evade Accountability for Mesothelioma

Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive and fatal form of cancer that is entirely preventable. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a toxic and carcinogenic substance. Businesses have known of asbestos’ dangers for decades, yet continued using it without warning those who were at risk for harm, and when charged with responsibility for illness they try to evade accountability. One such case was heard recently by the Supreme Court of New York. A premise owner was blamed for a worker’s mesothelioma death. Though the company attempted to have the case dismissed, the court denied their motion for summary judgment.

Mesothelioma Victim Details Exposure to Asbestos 

The case involved Alvin Smith, an electrician who died of malignant mesothelioma after having been exposed to asbestos dust. Prior to his death Mr. Smith filed a claim against National Grid Generation LLC, successor in interest to the Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO). Mr. Smith blamed National Grid for his illness, saying the company was responsible for his work as an electrician at the Northport Power Plant during 1967 and 1968. Mr. Smith provided testimony that he had been exposed to asbestos dust while working on and cleaning pump motors for the company.

In responding to Mr. Smith’s lawsuit, National Grid argued that it should not be made to defend itself against the charges of negligence, saying that they did not supervise or control the mesothelioma victim’s work and owed him no duty of care. To support their argument they submitted copies of his Social Security work records, which showed that he was employed by Rao and that he took direction from a Rao supervisor. 

Court Notes Premise Owner’s Responsibility for Overseeing Work in Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Though Mr. Smith acknowledged that he had taken orders from a Rao area foreman, he maintained that his mesothelioma was the responsibility of the premise owner because they supervised and controlled every aspect the work that was being done on their site. The court agreed, noting that as premise owner LILCO had a responsibility to oversee and control the work performed and that this created a duty to provide a safe workplace. The case will move forward for a jury.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it is important that you have access to top level resources. The Patient Advocates at can assist you in getting the information and expert help you need. 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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