Asbestos case over Scotts fertilizer revived

28 Feb 2018 by under Legal

4178172 4178172 american justice series edited 100x100 Asbestos case over Scotts fertilizer revivedA woman who blamed her husband’s fatal on a fertilizer that contained asbestos will get her day in court, a three-judge panel with the New Jersey Appellate Division ruled, Law360 reported.

Adrianne Brandecker’s husband Lorenz died in 2012 after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Prior to his death, Brandecker filed a complaint that he spread two bags of the lawn fertilizer Turf Builder, made by Scotts, twice a year for more than 10 years. The product, he contended, contained asbestos that contributed to his mesothelioma.

In July 2015, the court dismissed the complaint based on lack of evidence that the vermiculite ore from which the fertilizer was made contained any “respirable” asbestos fibers after being heat processed.

But in May 2015, Brandecker’s attorneys became aware of 26 samples that belonged to Scotts of its Turf Builder allegedly dating back to 1979. Those samples were likely made during the same period and likely from the same mine as Brandecker’s products. Since Brandecker’s attorneys didn’t know about the samples until 2015, they argued that it should be considered new evidence.

The trial court refused to vacate the summary judgment, but the three-judge panel with the New Jersey Appellate Division found that the samples are new evidence and the summary judgment could be vacated. The panel also noted that the knowledge of samples may affected the decision to prevent testimony from some of Brandecker’s experts.

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer affecting the lining of the internal organs, most often the lungs and abdomen. It is caused by asbestos exposure. There is usually a long latency period between when someone is exposed to asbestos and develops mesothelioma symptoms, often making it difficult to trace the source of exposure.

Source: Law360

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