February 9, 2012 – Last week, Levy Konigsberg LLP (“LK”), scored a legal victory for the family of a veteran of the United States Navy and, at the same time, protected the rights of veterans nationwide suffering from asbestos-related diseases. The victory came after two large military contractors, Westinghouse Corporation (now owned by CBS) and General Electric filed a first-of-its-kind motion asking a federal court to dismiss a claim of a Navy veteran before any evidence could even be presented.

February 9, 2012 – Last week, Levy Konigsberg LLP (“LK”), scored a legal victory for the family of a veteran of the United States Navy and, at the same time, protected the rights of veterans nationwide suffering from asbestos-related diseases. The victory came after two large military contractors, Westinghouse Corporation (now owned by CBS) and General Electric filed a first-of-its-kind motion asking a federal court to dismiss a claim of a Navy veteran before any evidence could even be presented. These companies argued that the federal courts should refuse to even hear the case because the equipment sold to the United States Navy was installed on ships used for national defense. LK argued that the court should allow the case to proceed because Westinghouse and GE failed to provide asbestos warnings even though these companies knew that Navy servicemen would be exposed to the cancer-causing carcinogen.

On February 1, 2012, the federal court ruled in favor of the family of the Navy veteran, Alan Donn. Mr. Donn’s family will be allowed to present evidence that: (1) he was exposed to asbestos from products sold to the government by Westinghouse and GE; (2) these companies failed to warn him about asbestos; (3) and this caused Mr. Donn to develop mesothelioma. This is a very important legal ruling because it confirms that United States veterans have the right to prosecute a case in federal court against government contractors that failed to warn about asbestos. If Westinghouse and GE’s motion to dismiss had been granted, hundreds of veterans with mesothelioma could have been prevented from having their cases heard by a court and jury.

Mr. Donn honorably served in the United States Navy before dying of mesothelioma. He served as an active-duty serviceman in the United States Navy for over 20 years, having worked aboard many nuclear submarines, as well as at the Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut. Mr. Donn was never warned about the hazards of asbestos by any of the companies that exposed him to asbestos or by the company that owned the shipyard where he worked.

Unfortunately, this tragic story of preventable cancer is all too common. Approximately one-third of all the mesothelioma cases in the United States every year occur in people who were exposed to asbestos during military service.

Mr. Donn’s mesothelioma attorney, Jerome H. Block, who argued in federal court against the motion to dismiss filed by GE and Westinghouse, said in a videotaped statement: “I’m very proud of this victory because every person in this country has the right to have their case decided in a court of law…, particularly our veterans.”

To learn more about this important court victory and what it means to you as a veteran or a family member of a veteran who developed mesothelioma, please call LK at 1.800.637.6529 or submit an email inquiry (see form above).

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Mesothelioma

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