Last month, a state court of appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision to dismiss a plaintiff’s asbestos lawsuit after finding that he had failed to disclose evidence and attempted to tamper with witnesses during the discovery process. The case was dismissed with prejudice, which means that the plaintiff will not be able to re-file the lawsuit in that county in the future.
The plaintiff filed his asbestos lawsuit in the spring of 2008, alleging that he had developed mesothelioma as a result of being exposed to auto parts that contained asbestos while assisting his grandfather with various auto repairs in the 1980s. In the suit, the plaintiff named 13 defendants, accusing them of marketing the auto industry products that contained asbestos to which he was exposed.
During the discovery process, the plaintiff denied that he had worked on construction sites. However, evidence obtained by the defendants showed that he had worked for at least two construction companies for several years in the 1990s. In fact, one construction company employee testified in his deposition that he had worked alongside the plaintiff on construction projects and that they had jointly removed asbestos roofs and siding without wearing protective respirators. That witness also testified that he had known the plaintiff since childhood and that he had never seen the plaintiff do any auto work.
It is not known why the plaintiff wanted to hold auto parts manufacturers responsible for his mesothelioma rather than the construction companies that were most likely responsible for it. Unfortunately, with the dismissal of his case, he is no longer able to seek reparations from either.
Source: Legal Newsline, “N.J. court affirms dismissal of asbestos case,” Nathan Bass, Dec. 28, 2012