An Illinois construction worker’s asbestos lung cancer lawsuit will be allowed to move forward after an appeals court overruled a lower court’s decision to end the suit. The case was filed by John Jones, who is accusing two asbestos companies of causing his illness and engaging in a conspiracy to hide the fact that asbestos is a hazardous, carcinogenic material.
The man’s lung cancer lawsuit had originally been dismissed after Pneumo Abex LLC and Owens-Illinois Inc. move for summary judgment to have their case dismissed based on a lack of proof of their wrongdoing. Upon reviewing the evidence prepared by the sick man and his attorneys, the Appellate Court of Illinois Fifth District reversed the lower court’s decision, stating that “At this stage in the litigation, it was error for the trial court to weigh the evidence and grant summary judgment.”
Construction Worker Diagnosed With Lung Cancer After Years of Working with Asbestos-Contaminated Insulation
Mr. Jones’ lawsuit relies strongly on the assertion that his lung cancer as caused by exposure to asbestos and that the two companies conspired to conceal the danger of that material in their products. Though the companies wanted the case dismissed, Jones presented evidence to the appeals court about an agreement that Abex reached her to remove all references to cancer and tumors from a report that it had commissioned with a researcher in the 1930s.
Another piece of evidence in support of Jones’ argument was a 1952 internal document from the files of Owens-Illinois that specifically indicated that dust from one of the company’s asbestos-contaminate insulation products “is capable of producing a peribronchiolar fibrosis typical of asbestosis.”
The appeals court’s decision was based on the fact that when defendants move for summary judgment, it must be based on the lack of a factual dispute about whether the conspiracy existed, and that the evidence submitted by Mr. Jones indicated the presence of a factual dispute. Mr. Jones’ case will be permitted to move forward to a jury trial.