December 6, 2010 – Federal Judge of the US District Court of the Southern District of New York dismisses a motion for summary judgment filed by a valve manufacturer Crane Co., one of the defendants named in a mesothelioma lawsuit brought by LK client Michael Curry, who has developed mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure during his service on board the USS Kitty Hawk.

FEDERAL JUDGE OF THE US DISTRICT COURT OF THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK DISMISSES A MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT FILED BY A VALVE MANUFACTURER CRANE CO., ONE OF THE DEFENDANTS NAMED IN A MESOTHELIOMA LAWSUIT BROUGHT BY LK CLIENT MICHAEL CURRY, WHO HAS DEVELOPED MESOTHELIOMA AS A RESULT OF ASBESTOS EXPOSURE DURING HIS SERVICE ON BOARD THE USS KITTY HAWK.

NEW YORK, New York, December 6, 2010 – In a decision1 issued today, the Honorable James S. Gwin denied a motion for summary judgment filed by a valve manufacturer, Crane Co. (“Crane”), who sought to have the claims of a mesothelioma victim dismissed. The decision was issued in the case of Michael Curry, who served as a boilerman in the United States Navy from 1963 through 1965 aboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). Crane manufactured valves that utilized asbestos-based insulation and components containing asbestos, including gaskets and packing. Mr. Curry was exposed to asbestos during the repair, maintenance, and overhaul of the valves.

Crane argued that the Court should dismiss Mr. Curry’s claims to the extent that they were based upon exposure to asbestos contained in the insulation or other components that Crane did not manufacture or supply. In rejecting this argument, Judge Gwin cited evidence showing that Crane supplied asbestos components with their valves and knew that these components would have to be replaced. Judge Gwin also emphasized that Crane had noticed that its valves would be insulated with asbestos and utilize asbestos-containing components because this was the normal industry practice at the time and because Crane sold these materials for use with its valves. Judge Gwin stated this evidence created an issue for the jury to decide: “whether it was foreseeable that Crane’s valves would be used with asbestos-containing components.”

Crane argued that they should not be legally responsible for exposure to asbestos used in products manufactured by other companies. However, Judge Gwin explained that where a company “meant its products to be used with asbestos-containing components or knew that its products would be used with such components, the company remains potentially liable for injuries resulting from those third-party manufactured and installed components.”

Navy servicemen, particularly those working below the deck (such as boilermen and machinist mates) were extensively exposed to asbestos during the 1940s up through at least the 1970s. As a result, many of these workers have developed mesothelioma, asbestos-related cancer that occurs most commonly in the pleura or peritoneum that line the lungs and abdominal cavities, respectively. The disease usually emerges after a “latency period” of many decades, which explains why Navy servicemen are commonly diagnosed with mesothelioma as many as thirty or forty years after they honorably served our country.

Mr. Curry is represented by mesothelioma lawyer Jerome H. Block of Levy Konigsberg LLP, a New York City-based law firm that has specialized in representing mesothelioma victims and their families for more than twenty-five years. According to Block, “This decision by Judge Gwin is firmly rooted in New York law and is an important victory for men, such as Michael Curry, who served honorably in the United States Navy and were exposed to asbestos unnecessarily because companies failed to warn about its dangers.”

For more information about this or other mesothelioma lawsuits, please contact Levy Konigsberg LLP at (800) 315-3806 or 1-800-MESO-LAW (1-800-637-6529), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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