An Ohio appeals court revived a widow’s suit against Honeywell alleging that her late husband was exposed to asbestos in its brake products, finding that a jury could conclude that her husband’s mesothelioma was caused by his exposure.
The panel said there are genuine issues of material fact over whether James Maddy’s exposure to asbestos form Bendix brake pads at his workplace was a substantial factor in causing his cancer.
James Maddy began working in 1980 as a supervisor at a company called Fixible. Thomas Burkhart, his former coworker, was the only witness who testified about his asbestos exposure, the panel said.
“From at least 1980 through 1983 (and likely much longer) the Bendix brake products to which Maddy would have been exposed when he was in, or passed by, the work area would have contained asbestos,” the panel said.
Maddy’s wife also presented evidence that would allow the inference that during a number of months in 1989, Maddy was exposed to asbestos dust from the grinding and chiseling of used Bendix brake linings, according to the panel.
Maddy was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in April 2014 and died just a month later at the age of 70, according to the opinion. His death certificate said that his cause of death was respiratory failure due to mesothelioma.
“This was a great win for a client that has fought a long time for it,” The plaintiff’s representative said. “It is good to see that the typical rules for reviewing an order granting summary judgement still apply in the context of asbestos-exposure claims.”
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