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Appeals Court Reinstates Mesothelioma Claim

A U.S. appeals court in San Francisco has reinstated a mesothelioma claim last month after it found that the lower court had erred in discounting the testimony of an asbestos specialist.

The lawsuit was filed by Geraldine Hilt, the widow of Robert Hilt who passed away after developing an asbestos-related lung injury in 2010 August. Geraldine listed several companies as defendants, including Clinton (NJ)-based Foster Wheeler Corporation.

The suit, which was filed in 2011 in the United States District Court in San Francisco, stated that Hilt died from a lung injury caused by asbestos exposure at various shipyards in states including San Francisco (Alameda and Vallejo) and California. The litigation was then transferred to the United States District Court in Philadelphia (PA), but the case was dismissed and returned to courts in California. The 9th United States Court of Appeals reinstated the case on appeal. The opinion of the 3-judge panel was unanimous.

The ruling refers to testimony by Charles Ay, an asbestos consultant based in California. The panel said the U.S. District Court erred in discounting the expert testimony for the reason that Charles Ay lacked personal knowledge about the ships and boilers and the insulation at issue.

Ay’s view that that the boilers on the USS Constellation and USS Bradley were made by, and that the asbestos-containing insulation was supplied by defendant Foster Wheeler was actually based on his specialized knowledge and his vast experience with the asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in U.S. naval ships, the court said. The jury said the facts and information in the record was sufficient to support Ay’s opinion. The court also agreed the plaintiff’s argument that Hilt had been exposed to the asbestos insulation present on the boilers.

While remanding this case for further proceedings, the appeals court said that Ay’s view wasn’t either speculative or inadmissible under the federal rules of evidence.

Mesothelioma Claims

Those who suffer from injuries linked to asbestos may be entitled to considerable damages. Victims can file mesothelioma claims against the businesses and other parties responsible for the injury. However, to maximize the chance of winning a favorable verdict, you must hire the service of a dedicated asbestos attorney who has sufficient resources and a proven track record of success. We will help you meet a top mesothelioma lawyer in your city. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please call at 800-706-5606 or fill out our contact form.