Repairman’s Death Blamed on Asbestos from Radios

When Kenneth Anderson died of malignant mesothelioma, his widow Thelma filed a personal injury lawsuit against Motorola Solutions Inc. and Zenith Electronics, LLC. She argued that the companies’ radios were contaminated with asbestos, and that over the course of his career as a radio and television repairman he had inhaled that carcinogenic dust. Both companies filed for and were granted summary judgment based on the widow’s inability to establish proof that their products were at fault for her late husband’s illness and death. An appeals court reversed this decision and permitted the case to move forward.

Zenith radio

Widow Argues that Lower Court Should Not Have Dismissed her Mesothelioma Claim

In her petition to the Court of Appeals of Kentucky, the mesothelioma widow argued that her husband had testified to having worked on both companies’ equipment. She noted that both Motorola and Zenith acknowledged that their radios had contained asbestos heat shields, and that those shields generally were not replaced throughout the life of the product.

Additionally, she pointed to testimony by an industrial hygienist indicating that cleaning the radios during repair would have generated significant asbestos to which her husband would have been exposed. She also highlighted the testimony of her husband’s physician, who had asserted that the amount of asbestos the industrial hygienist estimated Mr. Anderson had breathed in over the years would have been more than enough to have caused his illness.

Court Agrees with Mesothelioma Widow, Reverses Summary Judgment Decision

In reviewing the mesothelioma widow’s argument, the judges of the appeals court agreed that there was sufficient proof of the companies’ roles, and overturned the granting of summary judgment. They noted that though the evidence was circumstantial, in total it was probative enough to create genuine issues of material fact that warranted being reviewed and decided by a jury.

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Paul Danziger

Paul Danziger

Reviewer and Editor

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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