Maintenance Worker Defeats Asbestos Company’s Bid to Dismiss Mesothelioma Lawsuit

From the 1950s through the 1980s, Augustus A. Adams worked for E.I. duPont de Nemours as a maintenance worker and insulator, and it was that work that exposed him to the asbestos that caused his malignant mesothelioma. He and his wife Diane filed suit against the many companies that supplied asbestos-contaminated equipment to his employer, but one of the companies they named filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that the couple had not included any factual allegations against them. Upon review, the judge in the case denied the petition, noting that there were “viable legal claims” against them.

Judge decision

Company Argues that Mesothelioma Claim is Inappropriate

Mr. Adams’ mesothelioma lawsuit named several defendants whose products were present at the DuPont work site in Kinston, North Carolina, identifying each piece of asbestos-contaminated equipment and its manufacturers to which he had been exposed. Included in the list was Vistra Corporation, whose “alternate entity” is “Vistra Energy Corporation., CRS Sirrine, CRSS, and J.E. Sirrine.”

Vistra Corporation responded by arguing that it should not be included in the mesothelioma lawsuit because the complaint against them had not included “the nature or identity of any product that [they had] defectively designed or warranted” and subsequently not warned Mr. Adams about. The company’s argument was that their role at the North Carolina site was as a provider of professional services, “namely architectural and engineering services.”

Judge Denies Bid to Evade Mesothelioma Claim

In reviewing the company’s bid to be removed from the list of mesothelioma defendants, the judge noted that the Adams had specifically sued the company as a product defendant rather than as a service defendant, and that though they had referred to Vistra using the term “design of facilities,” they did not limit them to that role. The judge noted that the motion to dismiss would not resolve the company’s questions regarding the complaint, and that those would be better raised at a later point in the case.

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Paul Danziger

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.

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