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Mesothelioma News

Appeals Court Favors Defendants in Secondhand Asbestos Exposure Case

Philadelphia, PA – An appellate court in Pennsylvania has affirmed that an ex-refinery worker could not provide sufficient proof to demonstrate that his deceased wife’s mesothelioma was caused by her exposure to asbestos fibers from the products of the defendants.

Superior Court Judge Hon. Eugene Strassburger affirmed the decision made by a lower court to grant summary judgement to 2 defendant corporations in a secondhand asbestos exposure lawsuit. Strassburger delivered his opinion on 24th April.

Strassburger said the trial court was correct in deciding that the plaintiff failed to show sufficient evidence to prove that his wife contracted malignant mesothelioma because of his work with and around the products of the defendants.

Secondhand exposure to takes place when a worker carries the microscopic fibers of asbestos home through his overalls. Family members of asbestos workers could be exposed to the carcinogenic fibers when they wash these work clothes. Studies have proved that even secondhand exposure to asbestos fibers could result in the development of asbestos-related diseases like malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.

Allen Groover appealed 2 orders issued in 2013 January to grant summary judgement for defendant companies Spirax Sarco Incorporated and CBS Corp (Westinghouse). The appeal, on behalf of Groover’s deceased wife Mrs. Cheryl Groover, was filed in the Common Pleas Court of Philadelphia Civil Division.

It was in 2011 September that Groover filed his original lawsuit against a number of companies. According to this lawsuit, Mrs. Cheryl Groover died after developing malignant mesothelioma in 2010 October.

Groover had been working at a refinery in Marcus Hook between 1973 and 2010. He says he had been exposed regularly to asbestos during his job while dealing with the steam traps of Sarco and turbines of Westinghouse. According to Groover, asbestos dust and fibers attached to his overalls during his job. These fibers were carried home and Mrs. Groover exposed to them on a regular basis while laundering the work clothing, the suit states. As a result of this, Cheryl Groover developed malignant mesothelioma, an incurable cancer, Mr. Groover alleged.

Sarco and Westinghouse filed motions for summary judgement in 2012 November, which was granted in 2013 January. Groover was appealing this summary judgement.

Both direct and secondhand exposures to asbestos fibers are dangerous and could result in fatal medical conditions such as lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. Responsible companies could be punished if the liability is proven successfully.