A trial judge has granted a second motion for continuance in a mesothelioma case that has now dragged on for over three years. In 2008, a jury ruled in favor of defendant DuPont De Nemours, finding that the company was not responsible for the plaintiff’s father’s asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, and death. However, the judge overseeing the trial granted the plaintiff’s motion for a new trial, and each party has now requested – and been granted – a motion for continuance.
The initial lawsuit was filed by the daughter of a former DuPont subcontractor, a refinery worker who died after contracting mesothelioma. In the suit, the plaintiff alleges that her DuPont negligently exposed her father to asbestos during his employment with the company.
In early 2008, the jury found that DuPont had not acted negligently in exposing the deceased to asbestos. Following the verdict, the plaintiff filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that the evidence presented in court did not support the verdict. The judge granted the motion without giving any explanation as to his reasons for doing so. He has not yet disclosed those reasons, despite being ordered to do so by the state Supreme Court.
In November of last year, the plaintiff filed a motion for a continuance in the retrial, which was granted. Last month, the defendant filed another motion for a continuance, stating that a pending state Supreme Court ruling will bear on the outcome of the case. The motion, which was unopposed, was granted by the judge. The relevant Supreme Court case is scheduled to begin in October.
As the legal technicalities play out, the plaintiff continues to wait for the relief she is owed by the company that caused her father’s untimely death. It will likely be several months, if not a year, until the case is finally resolved.
Source: Southeast Texas Record, “Another continuance sought in DuPont asbestos retrial,” David Yates, 25 July 2011