Navy Reservist’s Widow Prevails in Mesothelioma Hearing That Describes “Dusty, Dirty, Oily” Environment

The U.S. District Court of New Jersey heard riveting testimony in a mesothelioma hearing that saw the widow of a Navy reservist battling against Westinghouse and Foster Wheeler Energy. Though the two corporate giants tried to quash her claim and have it dismissed, the court sided with Linda Hammell, allowing her wrongful death claim to proceed and be heard by a jury.

Shipboard Asbestos Exposure in the 1960s Led to Mesothelioma

According to Mrs. Hammell’s mesothelioma claim, Arthur Hammell’s illness followed his exposure to asbestos while he served onboard the U.S.S. Charles H. Roan while the vessel was undergoing rehabilitation and then while it was at sea. During his service he served in the forward fireroom, maintaining boilers, forced draft blowers, valves, pumps, and other equipment.

During deposition testimony, the environment of the fireroom was “tight,” with no ventilation, air conditioning or air circulation. “It’s just a hot, dusty, dirty, oily spot.” Within that room, the equipment manufactured by Westinghouse and by Foster Wheeler both used replacement parts that contained asbestos that became friable and airborne. In her suit Mrs. Hammell blamed these parts for her late husband’s illness, but both companies moved for her case to be dismissed based on their belief that she could not establish a duty to warn for equipment made and provided by third parties, as well as an inability to establish that their failure to warn was the cause of his illness.

Court Rules Companies Must Face a Jury in Widow’s Mesothelioma Case

In reviewing the evidence presented by both sides in the mesothelioma lawsuit, the court pointed to a recent Supreme Court decision that made companies responsible for third-party parts that were originally installed in their equipment and which would foreseeably be used as replacements. They also indicated that the dispute of material facts in the case necessitated that the case be decided by a jury.  The case will move forward, giving Mrs. Hammell the opportunity to get justice on behalf of her late husband and her bereaved family.

There are countless victims of malignant mesothelioma facing the same struggles as the Hammells, and the Patient Advocates at are here to help. Contact us today at  1-800-692-8608 to learn more.

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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