Leon Franklin Lamson died of malignant mesothelioma in 2015, more than 50 years after his carpentry work first exposed him to asbestos. After his death his family filed a personal injury lawsuit against International Paper Company and Weyerhaeuser Company, saying that the asbestos in the fire doors they manufactured, and that he frequently repaired, were responsible for his illness and death. Though a lower court granted the companies summary judgment, the Pennsylvania Superior Court later reversed that decision. The companies took their arguments to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, where the justices upheld the Superior Court’s decision and allowed the case to move forward.
Companies Argue Against Mesothelioma Victim’s Exposure to Asbestos
Mr. Lamson blamed his mesothelioma on the fire doors that he regularly installed and repaired, first during his work as a carpenter at Dupont from 1962 to 1967 and later at the Philadelphia Navy Yard from 1967 to 1971. Prior to his death he provided deposition testimony explaining the process of repairing the doors and the dust that was created when he sawed or drilled through the doors, which contained asbestos cores.
Despite his testimony and the testimony of a former colleague who had worked by his side, the trial judge agreed with the companies that there was insufficient evidence that his mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos from the doors. She said that he had not produced evidence that his work had disturbed the doors’ asbestos cores.
Superior Court Reverses Lower Court Judge in Mesothelioma Case, Supreme Court Agrees
When Mr. Lamson’s surviving family appealed the lower court’s decision to the state’s superior court, the judges agreed that the lower court had erred. They pointed to testimony that the mesothelioma victim had penetrated the asbestos core of the fire doors in his work and said that the case should be remanded for trial. When that decision was appealed by the defendant companies to the state Supreme Court, the justices handed down a single sentence decision allowing the Superior Court’s decision to stand. The case will move forward and the family will have the opportunity to present Mr. Lamson’s case to a jury.
Page Reviewed and Edited by Mesothelioma Attorney Paul Danziger
Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.