If you were seriously injured, remember that it is crucial to choose the right law firm to represent your interests. We have been doing this for more than three decades, and have the resources you need to challenge any opponent.
Relyea v. Bog Warner Corp. et al. – “Vague, Speculative” Evidence Won’t Fly in Asbestos Case
In any asbestos litigation, evidence must be meticulously and thoroughly culled and skillfully presented to the court in a timely and appropriate manner. Since these cases are so incredibly complex, with histories dating back decades, it’s imperative that your attorney be organized and fully prepared at every phase of the proceedings. Evidence must be clear and succinct but still ample in a way that meets your proof burden.
This is reportedly what did not happen for one plaintiff, at least with regard to a single defendant named in her mesothelioma litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, following transfer from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
In Relyea v. Bog Warner Corp. et al., the plaintiff asserted that car manufacturer Nissan North American Inc. was at least partially responsible for her asbestos-related illness, claiming she was exposed to the substance while working part-time as a bookkeeper and office manager at an auto repair shop for decades.
As our mesothelioma lawyers understand, she was diagnosed with mesothelioma a few years ago, and she died in late 2012. The case was converted to a wrongful death action, and the personal representative of her estate replaced her as the plaintiff.
Prior to her death, the decedent argued the defendant produced the vehicle parts, including brakes and clutches, that were used by auto shop workers. Those parts, she contended, contained asbestos to which she was exposed and thus sickened.
The defendant moved for summary judgment, citing insufficient evidence on the issue of causation. The plaintiff countered she had provided evidence of her exposure to asbestos-laden products supplied by the defendant. She asserted she worked five years at the shop and explained her work area shared a window with the mechanics’ area, which was often clouded with dust. In some cases, she would enter the mechanics’ work area.
Although she never directly handled the products containing asbestos, she believed she was exposed, due to the fact that it existed there, the site lacked ventilation, and she frequently inhaled the dust in the work area. She offered testimony from former co-workers, who backed her assertion that she frequently entered the mechanics’ work area.
She also offered proof that some of defendant’s brakes and clutches produced during the time in question (the 1980s) contained asbestos.
However, the judge determined the plaintiff’s evidence was speculative and vague, especially considering the repair shop worked on numerous kinds of vehicles during that time, not just the defendant’s. He added a reasonable jury could not find the decedent’s illness was the result of exposure from the defendant’s components because such findings would be based mostly on conjecture.
This case is an illustration of the fact that mesothelioma attorneys must be well-prepared at every phase of the litigation process.
Table of Contents
Frequently Asked Questions: Mesothelioma & Asbestos
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a carcinogenic, naturally occurring fibrous mineral. Known for its heat resistance and durability, asbestos has historically been used in insulation, construction materials, automotive parts, and shipbuilding materials.
Why is asbestos dangerous?
Asbestos is made up of small shard-like fibers that can easily become airborne when disturbed. If inhaled or ingested, these fibers can embed within the lining of the lungs, heart, stomach, or testes where they can cause cancer to form years or decades later.
What are asbestos-related diseases?
Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
What causes mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until decades after exposure.
What are the different types of mesothelioma?
Three of the most common types of mesothelioma are pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma.
What are common mesothelioma symptoms?
Common symptoms of mesothelioma include difficulty breathing and chest pains. Peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the stomach, may cause abdominal swelling, loss of appetite, constipation, abdominal pain, and nausea.
Do I qualify for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a preventable form of cancer most commonly caused by asbestos exposure. If you were exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. military or while working in construction, mechanics, or a similar field, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact The Ferraro Law Firm for a free legal consultation.
What is the life expectancy for someone with mesothelioma?
There is no cure for mesothelioma. However, patients can receive treatments for mesothelioma that may extend their initial prognosis with proper treatment. Those diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma usually have a life expectancy that is greater than three years, though a large part of this depends on the stage the patient is diagnosed. The earlier the diagnosis, the longer the life expectancy and chance of long-term survival.
Do I qualify for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should immediately seek long-term medical treatment. After that, you should contact our firm to examine your legal rights. Since 1985, The Ferraro Law Firm has represented individuals with asbestos-related diseases and pursued fair compensation on their behalf. Our firm is one of the top five law firms in the U.S. handling mesothelioma and asbestos cases.
Help for mesothelioma victims can be found at The Ferraro Law Firm by calling (888) 554-2030. Offices in Miami and Washington, D.C.
Contact The Ferraro Law Firm at (305) 375-0111 to explore your legal options with our knowledgeable legal team.