When New York City pollution control engineer Thomas L. Eckrich was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, he was initially uncertain as to how he could have contracted the disease, as his job did not involve him working with asbestos or any asbestos-contaminated products. It was only after careful review of his work environment that he realized that during his 25 years of working for the New York City Department of Air Resources, he had worked in the same area as workers providing maintenance and repair of asbestos-contaminated boilers. When he filed suit against the manufacturer of the boilers, they argued that there was no proof that their products was responsible for his illness, but New York Justice of the Supreme Court Manuel J. Mendez has denied their motion to dismiss his complaint and the case will continue.
Mesothelioma Victim Died in 2019
Though mesothelioma claimed Mr. Eckrich’s life in February of 2019, a year-and-a-half after he was first diagnosed with the rare and deadly form of cancer, his lawsuit against ECR International, Inc. has been continued by his survivors. The company filed a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the case, arguing that Mr. Eckrich and his survivors failed to provide evidence that he had been exposed to asbestos from any of their products.
In attempting to have the court dismiss the mesothelioma lawsuit, the company argued that the victim’s testimony had failed to identify the existence of any of their products – or specifically the Utica brand boilers that Eckrich claimed to have worked near or been exposed to through bystander exposure – during his career.
Witnesses for Victim Contradict Boiler Company’s Assertions
Though ECR’s argument was largely based on them arguing that their jacketed boilers did not contain asbestos and that they never sold unjacketed boilers, the mesothelioma victim’s case included testimony from Utica boilers’ corporate representatives that contradicted these answers. The family asserted that the company had not provided testimony from anybody with actual knowledge of the facts in the case, and the judge in the case agreed.
In handing down his decision, Justice Mendez found that the testimony provided by the mesothelioma victim was sufficient to meet the standard for the case to proceed, and that ECR’s argument was “unpersuasive”. The case will be able to proceed to be heard by a jury.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it is important that you have the support and resources you need. Contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608 to learn how we can help.