Electrician’s Case Against Asbestos Company Allowed to Proceed

When Philip A. Lattanzio chose to become an electrician, he never dreamed that his 42-year-long career would lead to being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, a rare and fatal form of cancer. But once he was diagnosed in September of 2017 and learned that the disease is caused by exposure to asbestos, he set out to find the source of his exposure and exact justice from those responsible. Though the manufacturer of the control breakers, backboards and housing material that he worked with fought against being named as a defendant, Judge Manuel J. Mendez of the Supreme Court of New York County denied the company’s motion for summary judgment and will allow the case to proceed.

Victim Recalls Constant Use of Breakers On Hospital Job

In providing his deposition about his mesothelioma diagnosis and possible asbestos exposures, Mr. Lattanzio recounted how he first learned that Bakelite panels contained asbestos, and spoke to how many of the defendant’s Bakelite panels he had worked with when providing services at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. He described the breakers in great detail, as well as their housing material and other variables and how he used them.

Beyond simply working with Rockwell Automation’s products, Mr. Lattanzio recounted how he had been required to modify their products and in the course of doing so had been exposed to the asbestos that caused his illness. He described having to drill holes into the backboard, as well as having to cut it to make it fit into the housing.

Asbestos company denies responsibility

Rockwell Automation denied responsibility for Mr. Lattanzio’s mesothelioma diagnosis, and presented evidence from a variety of expert witnesses that attested to a lack of evidence that their products could cause malignant mesothelioma. Those experts discussed the various forms of asbestos and which were more likely to cause mesothelioma, as well as the amount of asbestos that could be released from Bakelite products and the additional impacts of other products that Mr. Lattanzio used.

In reviewing both sides’ arguments, Judge Mendez ruled that summary judgment must be denied when the plaintiff has presented sufficient evidence to warrant a trial. He held that the evidence Mr. Lattanzio presented through his expert witness met that criteria and that the case should be heard by a jury.

If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you believe that you know who is responsible, you have a right to pursue justice. For information on where to find help and other resources, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net 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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