SMSM Obtains Favorable Decision from New York's Highest Court in a Second-Hand Exposure Case


October 27, 2005

New York's Highest Court has found in favor of Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney client, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, in a secondhand exposure case. The case arose from alleged asbestos exposure to a 36-year career employee of the Port Authority, whose spouse claimed that he brought the dust home and, as a result, she contracted mesothelioma.

The Court of Appeals ruled, as a matter of law, that no legal duty exists on any cause of action asserted by the plaintiff/spouse against the Port Authority. The intermediate appellate decision, which found a legal duty, was reversed and the case was dismissed.

In its opinion, the Court of Appeals addressed, for the first time, the issue of an employer/premises owners' duty in a secondary exposure situation. Also for the first time, the Court established that no duty exists.

Partner, Christian H. Gannon, argued the case to the Court of Appeals and is lead counsel on the decision. Associate Dwight A. Kern played a key role at the lower court levels. Mr. Kern, along with Associates Robert R. Rigolosi and Maria C. Carlucci, drafted the Briefs in the Court of Appeals.

Click here to view the Court's decision.