Elderly Man Tracks His Mesothelioma to College Asbestos Exposure

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is known for many things: the condition is caused by exposure to asbestos, is always considered fatal, and has a remarkably long latency period. Though the path of this rare form of cancer is still not completely understood, what we do know is that it is caused by breathing in asbestos fibers, and that those fibers cause damage that develops over a period that can take several decades. An example of this was recently seen in the Supreme Court of New York County, where Judge Manuel J. Mendez was asked to consider a motion for summary judgment in the  case of 72-year-old Paul Margolis. Margolis was diagnosed with mesothelioma at the age of 70, in December of 2016, and in trying to determine where his exposure to asbestos came from, he recalled extensive renovation work done on his college dormitories and fraternity housing. He is accusing American Biltrite Inc., the manufacturer of the Amtico asbestos vinyl flooring in those residence halls, for his illness.

College Exposure to Renovation Asbestos Dust Blamed for Illness

According to a deposition provided in his mesothelioma lawsuit, Mr. Margolis attended Syracuse University between 1964 and 1968, more than 50 years ago. He testified to remembering various renovation projects involving the replacement of asbestos vinyl tile in his freshman dormitory, his sophomore dormitory and in the fraternity house during his junior and senior years. He also remembered additional work being done all over campus, and described the specific boxes that the tiles were packaged in as being those being marked as American Biltrite’s Amtico vinyl asbestos tile. He also recalled the dust that was raised as tiles were cut.

Judge Rules in Favor of Mesothelioma Victim

Though American Biltrite argued that the mesothelioma lawsuit should be dismissed due to lack of proof of general or specific causation, Judge Mendez ruled that a motion for summary judgment could not be obtained based on gaps of proof, and that it is only warranted where the defendant could prove that its products were not responsible for the plaintiff’s illness. With that proof absent, he ruled that the mesothelioma victim could proceed with his lawsuit and that a jury would decide the case.

Because malignant mesothelioma has such a long latency period, one of the biggest challenges that victims face is being able to identify where they were exposed to asbestos. The Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help with this and many other questions you may have. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net 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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