Family’s Mesothelioma Lawsuit Citing Scotts Turf Builder Will Have its Day in Court

Before Lorenz Brandecker died of malignant mesothelioma in October of 2012, he filed a lawsuit against the maker of Scotts Turf Builder, accusing the company of exposing him to the asbestos that caused his fatal illness.

His claim was  dismissed after Scotts successfully blocked testimony from his expert witnesses for not having based their opinions on having real samples, which the company claimed they did not have in their possession.

It was discovered that Scotts did have samples that it failed to turn over to the plaintiffs’ attorneys. The summary judgment has been now been overturned and the case will be able to be heard.

According to Mr. Brandecker’s claim, Scotts Turf Builder fertilizer contained amphibole asbestos as a result of sourcing its vermiculite ore from a mine in Libby, Montana.

According to his lawsuit, between the years 1966 and 1980, two thirds of Turf Builder’s vermiculite came from that notorious mine, and he had applied it to his lawn twice a year from 1967 through 1980. Mr. Brandecker died months after his diagnosis with mesothelioma and his widow continued the lawsuit.

Her attorneys requested samples of the product from the company, but was told that no such samples existed. Following that, Scotts’ request for summary judgment was granted based in part on the lack of material to back up the testimony of the Brandeckers’ expert witnesses.

Months later, it was discovered through another lawsuit that Scotts did have possession of 26 pre-1980 samples of the product in question. The family appealed the summary judgment order and requested restoration of the case, which was denied by the court on procedural grounds. The family then filed an appeal of this decision.

In its ruling on the mesothelioma victim’s case, the Superior Court of New Jersey’s Appellate Division reversed the order as a misapplication of the court’s discretion, indicating that a final judgment can be vacated based on “newly discovered evidence which would probably alter the judgment or orders.”

The case will now move forward and the family will have the opportunity to have its day in court.

Mesothelioma victims need powerful advocates to stand up for them. If you or someone you love needs information, contact the Patient Advocates at today at 1-800-692-8608. We can provide you with access to valuable resources.

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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