Published on November 04, 2022
Following the mesothelioma death of her husband Kirk, Joanne Reulet is facing off against multiple asbestos manufacturers. Just last week she was handed a victory against companies disputing the cause of his death, and this week she won a round against General Electric Company and ViacomCBS Inc. (formerly known as Westinghouse Electric Corporation). Both companies had argued against their turbines having been responsible for his illness and death.
Mesothelioma Victim Worked in Close Proximity to Asbestos-Contaminated Turbines
In her lawsuit, Mrs. Reulet blamed asbestos insulation within the turbines her husband worked near for his mesothelioma diagnosis and death. She presented employment records that established that he’d worked as a shipfitter alongside Dwight Granier, who testified that he and Mr. Reulet had regularly and frequently worked “in close proximity to” the companies’ turbines, and particularly during the installation of insulation in the turbines. Other witnesses corroborated this testimony.
Despite this, the companies argued that the mesothelioma widow could not establish substantial asbestos exposure from their turbines and that they could not be legally responsible for any exposure that he’d had because the insulation had been added to their turbines by other companies. They asked the court to dismiss the charges against them, arguing that there was no genuine dispute of any material facts in the case.
Court Rejects Turbine Manufacturers’ Arguments, Mesothelioma Case to Proceed
Summary judgment petitions like those filed by the asbestos companies named in this mesothelioma lawsuit assert that there is no issue to be decided and that the claim should be dropped. But judges are tasked with determining whether the assertions in such petitions are true, and in doing so they must view all evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party – in this case, the widow.
In reviewing the evidence, the court noted that a reasonable jury could conclude that Mr. Reulet had inhaled asbestos fibers from the turbines’ insulation, leading to his mesothelioma. As for the argument against liability for insulation installed by a third party, the court noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a “manufacturer does have a duty to warn when its product requires incorporation of a part and the manufacturer knows or has reason to know that the integrated product is likely to be dangerous for its intended uses.” The case will move on for a jury to decide.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.
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Written by Terri Oppenheimer
Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.
Learn more about and contact Terri