Tiles Used in Home Renovation Blamed for Man’s Mesothelioma Death

Santo Lanza died of malignant mesothelioma on March 4, 2014, just two months after he filed a lawsuit against American Biltrite, the manufacturer of tiles that he used in his home renovation in Brooklyn, New York and before he could be deposed. But the man’s lifelong habit of enlisting the help of his son John with these types of tasks meant that there was another witness to his asbestos to exposure, and after his father’s death John was deposed over four days and filled in the blanks that allowed his father’s lawsuit to move forward. This week Judge Manuel J. Mendez of the Supreme Court of New York County ruled that the case could move forward, despite the tile manufacturer’s motion for summary judgment.

Victim Spent Years Installing and Removing Tile

To listen to John Lanza, there is little question as to how his father Santo was exposed to the asbestos that caused his death from malignant pleural mesothelioma. He described the home renovation that Santo did at their home in Brooklyn between 1963 and the early 1980s, as well as when he did side jobs throughout New York and New Jersey between 1966 and 1973.

John explained that the ABI Amtico vinyl tiles that he blames for his father’s mesothelioma were installed in the bedrooms, kitchen, hallways and stairways of the first three floors of the home, as well as the entire basement floor, and confirmed that his direct knowledge of this came from having helped his father with the installation from the time that he was eleven until he was fourteen or fifteen years old. He also remembered the boxes that the tiles came in, and described them. 

Testimony in Mesothelioma Lawsuit Was Extremely Detailed

In addition to providing exacting detail about the boxes that the asbestos tiles came in, Mr. Lanza described the asbestos-contaminated dust that he and his father breathed in. That dust, which has been blamed for his father’s mesothelioma death, was also raised when a flood damaged the tiles and they all needed to be removed and replaced.

Though Amtico argued that the case should be dismissed based on a lack of expert opinion establishing that their tile was the cause of Mr. Lanza’s death, the judge ruled that gaps in testimony were not reason to dismiss a case. The trial will move forward and the family will be able to seek justice for the loss of their father.

If you or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos then you are at risk for mesothelioma. If you’ve already been diagnosed and need information on the resources available to you, contact the Patient Advocates at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net 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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