United States District Court Judge Hon. Staci Yandle recently denied the dismissal motion filed by Crane Company in an asbestos-related lung cancer action. The judge concluded that the job sites listed by the plaintiff and the years given were enough to establish the company as a defendant. Yandle is a federal judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
In an April 16 order, the judge said the plaintiff has clearly provided specific job locations, time periods, and states, allowing the defendant companies ample notice of the claims of the plaintiff and grounds for those claims.
Steven Watts, the plaintiff in this case, states in his lawsuit that he contracted lung cancer because of his exposure to and inhalation/ingestion of asbestos fibres between 1969 and 1975. Watts claims that both work-related asbestos exposure and bystander exposure during the years have contributed to his medical condition.
More precisely, Steven Watts alleges that his asbestos exposure took place: from 1969 until 1970 while working at a Coca Cola facility in Olathe (Kansas) as a warehouse worker; from 1970 until 1973 while working with the United States Navy in Long Beach (California) ; from 1974 until 1975 while working aboard the USS Surf Bird and USS Hector; in year 1974 while working with Kraco Electronics at Compton in California as an electrician; and from 1974 until 1975 while working with the Santa Anna City (California) as a warehouse worker.
Watts claims that his long-term exposure to the products of the defendant (Crane Co) caused him to contract lung cancer.
The plaintiff argues that Crane knew or should’ve known that asbestos present in their unspecified products has toxic health impacts. Watts alleges that Crane Company failed to exercise reasonable care for the safety of workers including the plaintiff. Watts says exposure to the products of Crane Co has definitely contributed to his lung injury.
It was on 19th March, 2014 that Crane Company filed its motion to dismiss some counts – the counts of wanton and willful misconduct, and negligence. The company argued that the plaintiff fails to sufficiently state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted. Additionally, Crane Co argued that the lawsuit contains very “vague and ambiguous” claims and therefore the company could not prepare responsive pleadings reasonably. The company was seeking a dismissal of the suit or, at least, a more definitive statement.