When Matthew Strong died of peritoneal mesothelioma, his wife filed suit against Honeywell International seeking compensation for herself and for his estate. She claimed that he’d been exposed to asbestos in Bendix-brand automotive brakes that the company manufactured, and to support her claim she entered testimony by Matthew’s father, Terry. When Terry died a year later, Honeywell tried to remove his testimony, arguing that he had been an incompetent witness. The court denied their request and the case will move on with the evidence that he provided.
Asbestos Brake Company Points to Mesothelioma Witness’ Early Onset Dementia
The mesothelioma lawsuit filed by Kristina T. Strong against Honeywell International centered on Matthew’s use of Bendix-brand brakes when doing automotive repairs. She claims that his peritoneal mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos in the brakes, and to prove that Bendix was the brand that he’d used she asked Matthew’s father Terry to provide brand evidence. He testified that he had performed numerous Bendix brake replacements in his son’s presence, and later with his son’s assistance. He also volunteered that he had been diagnosed with early-onset vascular dementia three weeks before giving his deposition testimony.
When questioned by both the mesothelioma widow’s attorney and by Honeywell’s attorney, Mr. Strong indicated that his dementia affected his short-term memory. He noted that he might lose his train of thought when answering questions, but said that his long-term memory was perfect. He died one year after providing testimony, at which point Honeywell requested his death certificate and medical records about his dementia. They also requested that his testimony be excluded because they said that he had been an incompetent witness. Kristina filed objections to their motions.
Court Sides with Mesothelioma Widow
In considering the arguments by both the mesothelioma widow and the asbestos company, the judges of the U.S. District Court granted Kristina’s protective order of her late father-in-law’s medical records and denied Honeywell’s motion to exclude his testimony. They noted that the company had not supported their argument and had not moved to exclude the testimony when it was provided. The case will move forward for a jury to hear.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it is important that you have the support of people who understand the ins and outs of the legal system. For help from the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net, contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.