Before he died of malignant mesothelioma, Alvin Smith gave deposition testimony about his extensive exposure to asbestos-insulated wire and cable through his decades of working as an electrician. That testimony was the basis of his lawsuit against Ericsson, Inc., whose predecessor companies Anaconda Wire & Cable and Continental Wire & Cable manufactured the materials. In response to his lawsuit, Ericsson move to have the case against them dismissed, arguing that just because the materials contained asbestos did not mean that they had caused Smith’s rare, asbestos-related illness. After listening to the company’s arguments, Supreme Court of New York County Justice Adam Silvera denied their motion, allowing the case to move forward.
Asbestos Company Argues Against Responsibility for Mesothelioma
Though Ericsson’s attorneys did not deny that Mr. Smith had been exposed to asbestos in the company’s products, they argued that it was responsible for his illness, saying that “it is not enough for a plaintiff in a toxic tort action for damages to show that a certain agent sometimes causes the kind of harm that he or she is complaining of: at a minimum, there must be evidence from which the factfinder can conclude that the plaintiff was exposed to levels of that agent that are known to cause the kind of harm that the plaintiff claims to have suffered.”
In response, the attorneys for the mesothelioma victim’s family provided expert witness testimony showing that Mr. Smith had been exposed to asbestos, that it was capable of causing his illness, and that he had been exposed to sufficient levels of the carcinogen to cause his illness. They provided his testimony, as well as catalogues, marketing material and specification sheets from the companies showing asbestos in the products, as well as the report of a medical causation expert.
Judge Rules that Jury Must Decide About Mesothelioma Liability
In reviewing the arguments from both sides, Justice Silvera reminded the attorneys for the asbestos company that when there is a credibility issue in a mesothelioma lawsuit, it cannot be decided without the engagement of a jury. He also pointed out that the mesothelioma victim’s family was not required to show the precise causes of damages – only ‘facts and conditions from which defendant’s liability may be reasonably inferred.’ As a result, the case will proceed to a jury for both sides’ arguments to be heard and considered.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it is important that you have experts supporting you as you make all of your important decisions. For assistance, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.