The New Jersey Supreme Court handed a big win for victims of asbestos exposure in the state, and W&L couldn’t be more thrilled. In its ruling on Thomasenia L. Fowler v. Akzo Nobel Chemicals, Inc., the Court determined adequate warnings regarding the hazards of asbestos must be provided to the end user, not just the end user’s employer. (1)
This means equipment containing asbestos used by workers needs to have warning labels on it. It is not enough their employers gave them warnings. The companies had to have notification about the dangers of asbestos on the equipment and products used.
The warnings must be specific about the injuries caused by the product. And by what causes them.
Victims Need to be Warned About Asbestos
“This is exceptional news,” says Charles Ferguson, a W&L partner and chair of our asbestos department. “Now, those of us fighting on behalf of victims of asbestos exposure in New Jersey are able to present an even stronger case for our clients. This new legal outcome makes it easier for people who were harmed to win. The whole team at W&L couldn’t be more excited about the news.
He continues, “As attorneys, this adds strength to our legal position — the companies we are suing did not warn our clients about how dangerous asbestos is. Now, New Jersey law makes explicit that defendants cannot hide behind a defense that they gave a partial warning to the victims’ employers. If the companies can’t prove the workers were notified of the danger, they lose the case.”
“At W&L, we hope this definition of an adequate warning expands to other states,” Mr. Ferguson adds.
Asbestos Is Deadly
For decades, we have known asbestos is a carcinogen. Inhaling its fibers can lead to severe lung diseases, including the aggressive cancer mesothelioma.
Although there are treatments for mesothelioma, there is no cure. The prognosis for someone diagnosed with advanced mesothelioma is generally poor. Although some victims live up to two years, most only survive a few months after diagnosis.
W&L Is a Leader in Asbestos Litigation
We founded Weitz & Luxenberg in the mid-1980s specifically to help victims of mesothelioma and other illnesses related to asbestos exposure. We made it our mission to stand up against some of the biggest and most horrific corporate offenders.
Given all we have known about the dangers of asbestos, we were — and remain — appalled at the actions of large companies thinking only of profit. They act without conscience, endangering the lives of the very people who are working so hard to make each company strong.
As long as there are victims of asbestos exposure, W&L will be fighting on their behalf with every legal tool we have at our disposal.
Winning Asbestos Lawsuits for Our Clients
Weitz & Luxenberg has secured multiple settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients who developed asbestos related illnesses.
We achieved a large financial settlement on behalf of a veteran who was a boiler tender in the U.S. Navy during the 1950s. Our client was in his 70s when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Although he was treated with surgery and chemotherapy, he died within a few years. We were glad to help his family get financial compensation due to their loss.
Another multimillion dollar settlement W&aL attorneys negotiated was on behalf of a woman in her mid-50s. She was married to a New Jersey auto mechanic who was exposed to asbestos on his job. She developed peritoneal mesothelioma due to secondary asbestos exposure and died just two months after being diagnosed. The settlement helped her husband continue on without her.
We also secured a large multimillion dollar win on behalf of a successful medical doctor and businessman. We settled with multiple corporate defendants, including manufacturers of boilers, glass containers, and packaging materials. Settlements were also achieved with suppliers of laboratory services and equipment, as well as construction and roofing materials.
In another case, a multimillion dollar settlement was secured for the family of a New Jersey woman who contracted two types of mesothelioma: pleural and peritoneal. She was exposed to asbestos in floor tile, joint compound, wall board, and caulking after multiple home improvement projects. None of the products contained warnings about the dangers of asbestos.