Mesothelioma Victim’s Claim Includes Asbestos Company’s Insurer as Defendant

After Kirk Reulet’s 2019 death from malignant mesothelioma, his family filed a wrongful death and survival action against multiple companies that they blamed for having negligently exposed him to asbestos, as well as insurance companies that issued policies for those companies. Though one insurance company asked to be dismissed from the case, the judge denied their motion for summary judgment.

berkshire hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway Files Motion to Dismiss Mesothelioma Claim Against Them

The family’s mesothelioma claim cited a variety of companies whose products and environments contributed to Mr. Reulet’s mesothelioma death. Reulet had spent more than 40 years working in marine-economy jobs, and defendants included manufacturers, former employers, and the insurance companies that issued policies covering those companies. Among them was Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance company, which had issued two separate umbrella liability insurance policies to defendant Eagle Asbestos & Packing Company, Inc.

The mesothelioma victim’s family claimed he had been exposed to Eagle Asbestos’ products in two ways. They claim that he suffered second-hand exposure from his father’s work with the products, and his own first-hand exposure when he later worked with Eagle’s products.  Berkshire Hathaway admitted to issuing policies to Eagle during both of those time periods, but argued that they could not be held liable because there was no proof of his proximity to their clients’ products during the time covered by either of those policy terms.

Judge Dismisses One Mesothelioma Claim but Keeps Second

Though Judge Brian A. Jackson of the U.S. District Court agreed that the family had failed to present evidence establishing Mr. Reulet’s exposure to Eagle’s asbestos from his father’s work, he called the family’s direct exposure claim “another matter.” He noted deposition testimony from the mesothelioma victim’s co-worker from 1974, who’d described their work process and confirmed that the two of them had regularly inhaled asbestos dust. Because that testimony established a link between the asbestos dust inhaled by the victim and Eagle Asbestos’ insulation, that claim will not be dismissed and Berkshire Hathaway will remain a defendant in the case.

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Paul Danziger

Paul Danziger

Writer

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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