NY Judge Orders Immediate Production of Records by Pump Manufacturer in Mesothelioma Lawsuit Brought by Retired NYCHA Police Officer
New York Supreme Court Justice upholds recommendation of the Asbestos Litigation Special Master directing the immediate production of records in the possession of a pump manufacturer in mesothelioma lawsuit brought by a retired New York City Housing Authority police officer.
NEW YORK, New York, March 23, 2011 - In a decision issued today, the New York State Supreme Court Justice, Honorable Sherry Klein Heitler denied a motion for a protective order1 filed by a pump manufacturer, Aurora Pump Company ("Aurora"), who appealed from a Recommendation of the Special Master directing the immediate production of certain microfilm sales records and drawings in the defendant's possession. Aurora is a defendant in a mesothelioma lawsuit brought by George Graham ("Plaintiff"), a former New York City Housing Authority police officer.
Mr. Graham was exposed to asbestos from the defendant’s products while these products were being maintained and repaired during his routine patrol of the basement and maintenance areas within various Housing Development buildings in Bronx, NY, over his twenty year career.
Inspections conducted at the Housing Development buildings revealed that Aurora pumps were currently installed in the basement areas of some of the buildings where the plaintiff had worked during various years within the time period of 1973 to 1993. In an effort to establish that Aurora had previously supplied asbestos-containing pumps to these Housing Development buildings, the plaintiff's mesothelioma lawyers sought production of Aurora’s sales records dating back to 1945.
In relevant part, Aurora argued against production, claiming that this discovery request of the nearly 1,000,000 microfilm images and 24,000 pumps specification drawings was overbroad and burdensome, thereby subjecting Aurora to unreasonable annoyance, expense, and prejudice. Additionally, Aurora argued that the presence of Aurora pumps currently at the Housing Developments, where the plaintiff worked, did not mean that older Aurora pumps had been previously installed and operated at these premises and were replaced by the newer pumps.
In denying Aurora’s motion for protective order, Justice Heitler confirmed and adopted the Special Master’s Recommendation in all respects, finding the plaintiff’s attorneys' request proper, material, necessary, and strictly adhering to the scope of the Asbestos Litigation CMO’s standard discovery provisions. The Court cited to the testimony provided by Aurora’s corporate representative who essentially admitted that although this search would be time consuming and costly, relevant information could in fact be contained in the requested microfilm images and drawings. Justice Heitler noted that the defendant’s argument against disclosure as overly burdensome was “fatally undercut by Plaintiff’s counsel’s offer during oral argument to bear the time and expense of this document review such that there is a much lesser burden imposed on defendant than is contemplated by it.”
Mr. Graham is represented by mesothelioma attorney Carmen Victoria St. George of Levy Phillips & Konigsberg, LLP, a New York City based law firm that has been specializing in representing victims of mesothelioma for more than twenty-five years. According to Mrs. St. George, "This decision by Justice Heitler is firmly rooted in New York law, is within the wide discretion of the Court, and certainly a victory for people, such as Mr. George Graham, who valiantly performed their duties in accordance with their employment and were exposed to asbestos during the course of their work, who now seek to pierce through the attempts of corporations, such as Aurora, who continuously refrain from producing relevant materials necessary for the prosecution of asbestos actions."
Mesothelioma is an asbestos-related cancer that occurs most commonly in the pleura or peritoneum that line the lungs and abdominal cavities, respectively. The disease occurs after a “latency period” of many decades which explains why people are commonly diagnosed with mesothelioma many decades after they performed their respective duties throughout our country.
For over a quarter of a century, mesothelioma lawyers at Levy Phillips & 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 Phillips & Konigsberg, LLP, at 212-605-6200 or 1-800-MESO-LAW (1-800-637-6529), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Mesothelioma has no known cure and often causes severe pain, suffering, and other types of damage, such as loss of consortium, and loss of income. Additionally, due to the exceedingly high cost of mesothelioma treatments, many families exhaust savings and accumulate financial debt in order to pay for the medical expenses of their family member.
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.
If you or your family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should get in touch with a mesothelioma lawyer as early as possible to determine if you have a mesothelioma case and to:
- 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.
Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced mesothelioma lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline at 1-800-MESO-LAW (1-800-637-6529) or by submitting an email inquiry (see form above). Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.
While our offices are located in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Georgia, many of our mesothelioma lawyers are licensed to practice law in a number of U.S. states and have the capability and extensive experience of representing mesothelioma clients throughout the United States.
1 See attached a scanned copy of the court's decision.
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