The road to justice for victims of malignant mesothelioma takes many twists and turns, as was seen in a recent court ruling in favor of Navy veteran Harry L. Goodrich and his wife Agnes. The couple have filed a lawsuit against numerous defendants accusing them of being responsible for Harry’s exposure to asbestos during his Navy service. As is frequently true of asbestos companies, John Crane, Inc. attempted to defend itself by pointing the blame in another direction – in this case, they attempted to defer blame to the Navy itself, attempting to introduce evidence that the Navy was aware of asbestos’ dangers, and therefore it was the Armed Forces’ branch responsibility to protect service men and women rather than the manufacturers that manufactured and profited from the sale of the carcinogenic material. After consideration, the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia, Newport News Division ruled against the company, restricting them from offering the Navy’s role as a superseding cause of Mr. Goodrich’s illness.
In its ruling in the mesothelioma lawsuit, the court noted that it has both discretion and responsibility for determining what evidence is relevant to a case, and particularly to exclude evidence if its admission risks “unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, wasting time, or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence.” The court agreed with the mesothelioma victim that John Crane’s stated wish to submit evidence of the Navy’s knowledge and negligence with regard to his asbestos exposure was meant to be a “backdoor” way of excusing themselves of responsibility for knowingly selling a toxic substance. The court further said that the company’s legal argument “flips the state of the art defense on its head,” as that defense is meant to show that a product “was designed according to the best methods available at the time” rather than to allow a defective product to be sold but then move the blame forward to another on the supply line.
When mesothelioma victims seek justice, they need the assistance of highly compassionate experts and resources. For information on how the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help, call us today at 1-800-692-8608