New York Summary Judgment Victory on General Causation about Chrysotile and Peritoneal Mesothelioma


April 24, 2018

Segal McCambridge New York Shareholder Erich Gleber and New York Associate Anna Hwang were granted their second summary judgment motion on the issue of causation in a strict products liability case.

In defense of a sheet flooring manufacturer, Mr. Gleber and Ms. Hwang successfully moved for summary judgment on the grounds that plaintiffs could not establish general causation, i.e., that chrysotile asbestos fiber can cause peritoneal mesothelioma nor could plaintiffs establish specific causation, i.e., that plaintiff was exposed to sufficient levels of chrysotile asbestos fibers from sheet flooring to cause disease. 

In support of their motion, Mr. Gleber and Ms. Hwang submitted an affidavit of their industrial hygienist to establish that the amount of asbestos fibers contained in their client’s product was not an accurate reflection of the amount that would be released during a particular task to be able to cause disease.  They also submitted an affidavit by their medical expert to establish that the medical literature did not include a single instance where peritoneal mesothelioma was contracted by a worker exposed to only chrysotile asbestos.  Finally, the Court agreed with Mr. Gleber and Ms. Hwang that plaintiffs’ experts, Dr. Jacqueline Moline and Dr. David Zhang, lacked sufficient foundation to provide any opinions on general or specific causation. 

Segal McCambridge congratulates Shareholder Erich Gleber and Associate Anna Hwang on winning both of New York State’s two (and only) summary judgment motions on the issue of causation based on the First Department’s decision in Juni v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., 148 A.D.3d 233 (1st Dep’t 2017).