Malignant mesothelioma is an extremely rare form of cancer, and many people diagnosed with the disease are completely unfamiliar with it. When told that the disease is preventable and that their illness was caused by exposure to asbestos decades earlier, many choose to pursue justice through the legal system. Victims are frequently awarded millions of dollars in compensation, and this has led asbestos companies to develop aggressive defense strategies, including refusing to comply with evidence requests. This happened recently in a case being heard in the state of New York: Despite the asbestos company’s arguments, Justice Adam Silvera of the Supreme Court of New York County decided that the victim is entitled to the information that he is seeking.
Man Blames Mesothelioma on Asbestos in Fire Doors
The case before the New York asbestos court was filed by James Witte, a man diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. According to his claim, Mr. Witte was responsible for supervising the construction of studios in New York city from the late 1960s through 1973. His work included renovation of a building at 81st Street and Broadway in New York City, where his team was exposed to “a lot of dust. A lot of old insulation. Everything went in new … new walls and new doors and fire doors.” Those doors were manufactured by T.M. Cobb Company and were fabricated with asbestos.
Mr. Witte named Cobb as a defendant in mesothelioma lawsuit that he filed in New York, but the company argued that the state’s courts have no jurisdiction over them because they are based in California. They both refused to comply with requests for evidence about their sales promotions or records in the state of New York and asked the court to dismiss the case. Mr. Witte filed a cross-motion asking the company to allow its corporate representatives to answer questions aimed at determining whether they pursued business in the state.
Court Agrees with Mesothelioma Victim
In reviewing both the asbestos company’s motion to dismiss and Mr. Witte’s request to pursue evidence, the judge sided with the mesothelioma victim. Though he conceded that it is possible that the company would be proven right about New York’s lack of jurisdiction, he also agreed that it was impossible to make that determination until more evidence was gathered.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you choose to pursue legal action, you need help identifying and pursuing those responsible. For access to valuable resources, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.