More than forty years after Augustus A. Adams left his work at the Kinston, North Carolina E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company plant, he was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. He and his wife Diane filed suit against a long list of companies whose products he blames for having exposed him to asbestos fibers and causing his illness. One of those organizations, Vistra Intermediate Company LLC, filed a motion to dismiss the case, saying that the couple had failed to state a claim against them. Their motion was denied by United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan.
Thirty Years of Asbestos Exposure Blamed for Mesothelioma
Mr. Adams was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma on August 17th, 2021, and on October 8th of the same year he and his wife filed their claim seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages, interest, costs, and fees from several asbestos companies or their successors. Their claim references defective design, failure to warn, implied warranty, gross negligence, and loss of consortium.
In describing the work he did between the early 1950s to the 1980s, the mesothelioma victim listed “maintaining asbestos-containing equipment, and removing and replacing asbestos containing insulation, throughout the DuPont Kinston facility.”
Motion to Dismiss Mesothelioma Lawsuit Fails
Though the court set a July 2023 deadline for discovery, Vistra filed an instant motion to dismiss the mesothelioma lawsuit against them, suggesting that they were being sued “for their provision of professional services, namely architectural and engineering services” at the plant. They argue that “a simple search of the company makes clear the nature of its business,” which they assert is the provision of services, not a product.
The judge disagreed with Vistra’s argument, pointing out that the Adams case specifically does name them as having provided a product, and that if the company feels that is inaccurate then they can prove those facts in either the context of an answer or at a later point in the case. The motion to dismiss was denied and the case will continue through the discovery process.
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