February 10, 2011 – New Jersey Superior Court Judge orders a paint manufacturer, which was named in a mesothelioma lawsuit as a discovery-only defendant, to produce documents shedding light to the cancer-causing asbestos exposure by a former employee of the company.
New Jersey Judge Orders Paint Manufacturer to Produce Asbestos-Related Documents in Mesothelioma Lawsuit Brought by Former Employee
New Jersey Superior Court Judge orders a paint manufacturer, which was named in a mesothelioma lawsuit as a discovery-only defendant, to produce documents shedding light to the cancer-causing asbestos exposure by a former employee of the company.
NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey, February 10, 2011 – Today, the New Jersey Super Court Judge, Honorable Ann G. McCormick issued an Order1 denying a motion for summary judgment without oral argument filed by The Sherwin-Williams Company (“Sherwin-Williams”), a defendant named for discovery-only purposes, who sought to have the claims of a mesothelioma victim, and former Sherwin-Williams employee, dismissed.
As the employer of Armin Thoma, a mesothelioma victim who worked as a paint tester and raw materials sampler at the Newark, New Jersey, manufacturing plant in the late 1950s and 1960s, Sherwin-Williams was named as a defendant for discovery purposes only pursuant to the New Jersey Rules of Court. Sherwin-Williams manufactured paint, paint products, enamels, varnishes, and solvents, which utilized asbestos and asbestos-containing talc in the manufacturing process. As part of his regular work duties, Mr. Thoma was exposed to asbestos and asbestos-containing talc during the testing and sampling of the paint ingredients and finished products.
In their motion, Sherwin-Williams argued that the Court should dismiss Mr. Thoma’s claims and relieve Sherwin-Williams of their obligation to provide the requested discovery materials because Sherwin-Williams, as a discovery-only defendant, had no interest in the outcome of the case and the required production of documents would be burdensome and an expense. Mr. Thoma’s mesothelioma lawyers requested that Sherwin-Williams produce documents related to their purchase of asbestos and talc in the late 1950s and 1960s for use in their finished products manufactured at their Newark, New Jersey, plant.
The requested documents were the types of documents that would be in the possession and control of Sherwin-Williams only, since no other party in the case could have had the access to and knowledge regarding the asbestos and talc purchased by Sherwin-Williams for use in its own paint products. Judge McCormick therefore denied Sherwin-Williams’ motion on the papers without need for oral argument, requiring Sherwin-Williams to respond to Mr. Thoma’s discovery requests.
Mr. Thoma is represented by mesothelioma attorneys Moshe Maimon and Leah Kagan of Levy Konigsberg LLP, a national mesothelioma law firm with offices in New York and New Jersey.
Like Mr. Thoma, individuals, who worked in paint manufacturing facilities in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, were routinely exposed to asbestos, talc, and asbestos-containing products as part of the manufacturing process, frequently without knowledge of the actual materials they were working with. As a result, many of these workers have developed mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer that occurs most commonly in the pleura or peritoneum that line the lungs and abdominal cavities. Mesothelioma develops after a “latency period”, which can range from ten to fifty years after the initial asbestos exposure. It is this latency period that makes obtaining records that date back decades so difficult. It is also why it so important for judges like Judge McCormick to continue requiring defendants, named in a lawsuit for discovery purposes only, to produce documents only they would have in their possession.
For over a quarter of a century, mesothelioma lawyers at Levy Konigsberg LLP have been among the pioneers of asbestos litigation in America. The firm’s attorneys have been recognized as nationwide leaders in representing the rights of mesothelioma victims and their families. Their clients have received some of the largest mesothelioma compensation verdicts in the country.
For more information about this or other mesothelioma lawsuits, please contact Levy Konigsberg LLP at 212-605-6200 or 1-800-MESO-LAW (1-800-637-6529), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Under the law of most states, pain and suffering from mesothelioma may be compensated through the award of money damages, usually obtained with the help of experienced mesothelioma attorneys. In some states other types of damages may also be recovered.
Asbestos litigation affords mesothelioma victims the opportunity to receive financial compensation and hold accountable the companies that caused their asbestos exposure.
- Preserve your rights to bring a legal action against the responsible parties within the limited time frame allowed by law, known as statute of limitations;
- Obtain maximum compensation in your case by being able to:
- Preserve evidence and establish facts of the asbestos exposure while the claimant is still alive and able to provide information;
- File and resolve a lawsuit against the responsible parties before they file for bankruptcy or, if they already have, to obtain compensation before their bankruptcy trust funds run out of money;
- Expedite your case, as courts tend to give higher priority to mesothelioma lawsuits where the claimant is still alive.
1 Thoma v. A.R. Winarick, Inc., et al., No. L-7891-10AS (N.J. Super., Middlesex County).