Asbestos suit filed by widow following U.S. veteran’s mesothelioma death

1 Feb 2016 by under Legal

Gavel Scales of Justice American flag square 100x100 Asbestos suit filed by widow following U.S. veterans mesothelioma deathA U.S. Navy veteran’s widow and executrix has filed suit against aerospace giant Corp., as well as several other manufacturers, accusing the companies of regularly exposing her husband to the dangerous asbestos responsible for his development of mesothelioma. He died as a result of the deadly cancer. Last week, Law360 reported the asbestos lawsuit had been removed to federal court.

Peter George, the deceased husband of plaintiff Leona George, worked from 1955 until 1961 as a jet mechanic in the Navy and Navy Reserve. Lockheed Martin claims that while the company manufactured the aircraft responsible for allegedly exposing George to asbestos, it did so at the will of the U.S. military.

“[Yearsley v. W.A. Ross Construction Co.] established that a government contractor, performing at the direction and authorization of a government officer, is immune from suit based upon performance of the contract in carrying out a government function,” Lockheed Martin told Law360. “The aircraft at issue were manufactured pursuant to validly conferred authority and Lockheed Martin’s conduct was within the bounds of that authority. Indeed, if the government had manufactured the aircraft itself, it would be immune from suit; that immunity must be extended to Lockheed Martin.”

Exposure to asbestos – even in small amounts – may lead to the development of asbestos-related diseases including asbestosis, a severe scarring of the lungs, and mesothelioma, the deadly cancer that took George’s life. Experts say there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos and anyone regularly exposed to it, whether at home or in the workplace, is at high risk.

David P. Chervenick of Goldberg Persky & White PC, who represents the plaintiff’s side, told Law360 that he expected the case to be removed to federal court. Chervenick notes that this is because there is a history of similar asbestos claims related to time in the military being prosecuted in federal court.

“This was neither uncommon nor unexpected,” Chervenick said in an email to Law360 last week.

George was affected by a number of different corporations now named in the lawsuit, including Advance Auto Parts Inc., CBS Corp., General Electric Co. and Goodyear Tire & Co. He was also involved with the carpentry and construction industries during his career. On Jan. 20, 2014, George was diagnosed with mesothelioma and passed away just six months later.

“Defendants, individually, together and/or as a group, have possessed since 1929 medical and scientific data which indicated that asbestos-containing insulation and other materials were hazardous to health,” the complaint reads. “Prompted by pecuniary motives, the defendants, individually, together and/or as a group, willfully and wantonly ignored and/or failed to act upon said medical and scientific data.”

Source: Law360


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