Court denies boiler maker’s attempt to evade two separate mesothelioma claims

Published on March 20, 2023

The asbestos insulation found in boilers from the mid-20th century is often blamed for malignant mesothelioma because those who worked with or near the boilers had no way of avoiding inhaling the toxic fibers. Despite this, boiler manufacturers often try to avoid liability for the damage they cause. Recently, a single manufacturer moved to dismiss two separate punitive damages claims against it, but the New York courts denied both motions.

Two separate mesothelioma victims seek punitive damages from Boiler Company

Burnham LLC is a boiler manufacturer named in two separate mesothelioma claims. In the first, a painter pointed to his 20-year exposure to a boiler he had been working on in his private home, as well as during his employment cleaning the toxic substance from boilers and inhaling asbestos that plumbers accumulated during their work in his presence . The second mesothelioma lawsuit was filed by a mechanic and carpenter who accused between 22 and 55 separate cases while working in the presence of workers who were tearing down and installing the boilers.

Both mesothelioma victims included punitive damages in their claims against the company, and Burnham filed a motion for partial summary judgment seeking that that portion of the lawsuit against them be dismissed. The company’s lawyers argued that their failure to issue warnings was not up to the standard required for punitive damages, citing an expert’s testimony on exposure levels in support of their petition.

Court upholds punitive damages claims of both mesothelioma victims

Although the two mesothelioma cases were entirely separate, Burnham was named in both cases and the court made the same decision for each plaintiff. They cited the gross negligence standard required by the New York Circuit Court of Appeals for punitive damages and found that the expert’s testimony failed to meet that standard. The court ruled that the decision must be made by a jury, allowing both victims to argue that the company deserved a financial penalty for moving forward.

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If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, you deserve justice. If you need help, contact the Patient Advocates at today at 1-800-692-8608.

FREE Mesothelioma Pack Written by Terri Oppenheimer Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the main author of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes knowledge is power, and she is committed to sharing news about the effects of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and the stories of victims.

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