In June 2019, the New Jersey Superior Court granted our client’s motion for summary judgment in this asbestos case. Plaintiffs sued our client as the successor in interest to a corporation that manufactured products including brick veneer. The plaintiff, a 77 year-old state trooper, alleged that he developed mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos-containing products during renovations and home improvement projects at several of his residences. During his deposition, plaintiff testified that in 1972 or 1973, he installed our client’s brick veneer in one of his residences during a kitchen renovation project. He testified that the project took place “off and on” over the course of a couple of weeks. He testified that he had to cut and grind an unspecified number of brick veneers during the installation process, which created “white dust” that he “might be” asbestos. Although the brick veneer remained installed on the kitchen walls of the home where plaintiff resided, plaintiffs never tested the product to determine if it contained asbestos.
At the summary judgment stage, we argued that plaintiffs lacked any evidence that the brick veneer contained asbestos. We further argued that the plaintiff’s work with the brick veneer was sporadic, occasional, and limited in duration. Thus, it could not have been a substantial factor in causing his illness. Plaintiffs opposed the motion, arguing that the brick veneer may have contained vermiculite which could have been exposed the plaintiff to asbestos while cutting and grinding the brick veneer. In granting our motion, the Hon. Ana C. Viscomi, J.S.C., concluded there was no evidence that the product contained asbestos as an ingredient. The court further noted that plaintiffs’ argument that vermiculite may have been used to manufacture the product was entirely unsupported.
Robert Kelly, Jason Schmitz and Christine Emery participated in this win.