throbber
FILED: NASSAU COUNTY CLERK 02/19/2018 02:57 PM
`NYSCEF DOC. NO. 159
`
`INDEX NO. 605517/2016
`
`RECEIVED NYSCEF: 02/19/2018
`
`LEWIS
`
`OF NEW YORK
`STATE
`COURT
`SUPREME
`COUNTY
`COURTHOUSE
`7660
`North
`Street
`State
`New York
`13367-1396
`Lowville,
`(3W 3%-5366•
`Far
`
`(315)
`
`266-U75
`
`C. MERRELL
`HON. CHARLES
`Justice
`Supreme
`Court
`
`e
`
`Steven A. Smith
`Principal
`Law Clerk
`
`Teresa M. Warcup
`Secretary
`
`DEBORAH W. EARL
`Chief Clerk
`376-5380
`(315)
`
`Tel:
`
`Rebecca E. Aucter
`Sr. Court Office Assistant
`376-5381
`Tel:
`(315)
`
`November
`
`8, 2017
`
`Via Electronic
`
`and Regular
`
`Mail
`
`Keith W. Binder,
`Esq.
`& Konigsberg,
`Phillips
`Levy,
`800
`Third
`Avenue
`New York,
`New York
`
`10022
`
`LLP
`
`Re:
`
`Nash
`Index
`
`v. A.W.
`No.
`
`Chesterton,
`2012-719;
`
`RJI
`
`Co.,
`No.
`
`et al.
`Inc.,
`33-12-1731
`
`Dear
`
`Mr.
`
`Binder:
`
`Enclosed
`and
`motion
`note
`that
`CPLR
`under
`with
`regard
`
`for
`filing
`motion
`act
`the
`2220.
`
`to
`
`serving
`
`please
`directed
`
`for
`of
`signing
`Parties
`Notice
`
`trial
`
`Please
`
`filing
`rule
`
`find
`
`Decision
`original
`the
`in regard
`to
`verdict
`the
`enclosed
`Decision
`not
`relieved
`of
`are
`the
`of Entry.
`
`the
`
`and
`above
`does
`applicable
`
`Order
`deciding
`referenced
`constitute
`provisions
`
`not
`
`post
`
`or
`
`the
`matter.
`
`entry
`of
`the
`
`Concurrently,
`Court
`Clerk's
`behalf
`the
`
`on
`of
`
`County
`Chambers
`with
`a copy
`Administrative
`
`Judge,
`
`by
`
`and
`Office
`of
`each
`Decision.
`Ann
`
`copy
`any
`party
`This
`
`Pfau,
`
`July
`
`of
`this
`letter,
`papers
`original
`with
`for
`filing
`is in accordance
`1, 2009.
`dated
`
`the
`on
`
`Court
`is conveying
`the motion
`that
`the Onondaga
`County
`the Memorandum
`with
`
`were
`
`to the Onondaga
`received
`
`by
`
`Clerk,
`of
`
`along
`the
`Chief
`
`Very
`
`tr
`
`ours,
`
`Teresa
`
`Secretary
`
`M. Warcup
`to Hon.
`
`Charl
`
`C. Merrell
`
`electronic
`via
`electronic
`electronic
`via
`
`mail
`
`mail
`
`only
`
`only
`mail
`
`only
`
`Clerk
`
`/tmw
`
`Enclosure
`
`cc:
`
`Donald
`
`Holly
`Anthony
`James
`
`A. W. Smith,
`M. Polglase,
`J. Sbarra,
`E. Makowiec,
`
`Esq.,
`Esq.,
`Jr.,
`
`via
`
`Esq.,
`Chief
`
`

`

`FILED: NASSAU COUNTY CLERK 02/19/2018 02:57 PM
`NYSCEF DOC. NO. 159
`
`INDEX NO. 605517/2016
`
`RECEIVED NYSCEF: 02/19/2018
`
`of
`the
`a Term
`At
`of New York
`State
`of Onondaga
`at
`the
`
`Courthouse,
`27th
`
`day
`
`Lowville,
`of April,
`2015.
`
`Supreme
`held
`Lewis
`County
`New York
`
`Court
`the
`
`for
`
`of
`
`the
`
`County
`
`on
`
`the
`
`OF NEW YORK
`STATE
`SUPREME
`COURT
`
`COUNTY
`
`OF ONONDAGA
`
`THE
`ESTATE
`EXECUTRIX.
`
`OF LEWIS
`
`NASH,
`
`MARY NASH
`
`AS
`
`DECISION
`
`AND ORDER
`
`v.
`
`Plaintiff,
`
`Index
`RJI
`
`No.
`2012-000719
`33-12-1731
`
`No.
`
`A.W.
`
`CHESTERTON
`
`COMPANY,
`
`INC.,
`
`et al.,
`
`APPEARANCES:
`
`a
`
`Defendants.
`
`LEVY
`KEITH
`AMBER
`Attorneys
`
`KONIGSBERG,
`W.
`BINDER,
`R. LONG,
`Plaintiff
`for
`
`LLP
`
`Esq.,
`Esq.,
`
`of
`
`counsel
`counsel
`
`of
`
`DONALD
`DONALD
`
`A. W. SMITH,
`A. W. SMITH,
`
`P.C.
`
`Esq.,
`
`of
`
`counsel
`
`NETBURN,
`HERMES,
`HOLLY
`M. POLGLASE,
`ANTHONY
`J. SBARRA,
`Attorneys
`for Defendant
`
`O'
`O'CONNOR
`of
`
`Esq.,
`JR.,
`Esq.,
`Navistar,
`
`8 SPEARING,
`counsel
`of
`Inc.
`
`counsel
`
`P.C.
`
`Merrell,
`
`C.C.,
`
`J.S.C.
`
`Court
`
`are motions
`
`for
`
`verdict
`
`Before
`
`the
`
`directed
`
`and
`
`a post
`
`trial
`
`motion
`
`by
`
`Defendant
`
`Navistar,
`
`Inc.
`
`("Navistar"),
`
`for
`
`an Order
`
`pursuant
`
`to CPLR
`
`§4404(a)
`
`setting
`
`aside
`
`the
`
`jury's
`
`verdict
`
`and
`
`dismissing
`
`the
`
`action,
`
`or,
`
`in the
`
`alternative,
`
`ordering
`
`a new
`
`trial
`
`on
`
`all
`
`issues,
`
`or
`
`in the
`
`alternative
`
`on
`
`the
`
`issues
`
`of
`
`the
`
`allocation
`
`of
`
`fault
`
`and/or
`
`the
`
`award
`
`of
`
`future
`
`damages.
`
`PROCEDURAL
`
`HISTORY
`
`This
`
`matter
`
`proceeded
`
`to trial
`
`commencing
`
`December
`
`3, 2014
`
`and
`
`concluding
`
`on
`
`

`

`FILED: NASSAU COUNTY CLERK 02/19/2018 02:57 PM
`NYSCEF DOC. NO. 159
`
`INDEX NO. 605517/2016
`
`RECEIVED NYSCEF: 02/19/2018
`
`December
`
`16,
`
`2014.
`
`The
`
`Court
`
`will
`
`not
`
`attempt
`
`to
`
`summarize
`
`the
`
`evidence
`
`here.
`
`The
`
`jury
`
`found
`
`that
`
`Plaintiff's
`
`decedent
`
`Lewis
`
`M. Nash
`
`(" Nash"
`("Nash")
`
`was
`
`exposed
`
`to
`
`asbestos
`
`fibers
`
`manufactured,
`
`sold
`
`or distributed
`
`by Navistar,
`
`that
`
`Navistar
`
`was
`
`negligent
`
`in
`
`failing
`
`to
`
`adequately
`
`warn
`
`about
`
`the
`
`dangers
`
`of
`
`such
`
`products,
`
`and
`
`that
`
`Navistar's
`
`negligence
`
`was
`
`a proximate
`
`cause
`
`of Nash's
`
`mesothelioma.
`
`Nash
`
`was
`
`a bus
`
`driver
`
`employed
`
`by
`
`the
`
`Fayetteville-Manlius
`
`Central
`
`School
`
`District
`
`and
`
`alleged
`
`exposure
`
`to
`
`asbestos
`
`from
`
`brakes
`
`and
`
`gaskets
`
`sold
`
`by Navistar.
`
`Such
`
`exposure
`
`occurred
`
`in the
`
`bus
`
`garage
`
`at
`
`the
`
`school,
`
`where
`
`Nash
`
`would
`
`routinely
`
`spend
`
`time
`
`between
`
`his
`
`bus
`
`runs.
`
`The
`
`jury
`
`awarded
`
`Plaintiff
`
`$3 million
`
`in conscious
`
`pain
`
`and
`
`suffering,
`
`$3 million
`
`in emotional
`
`pain
`
`and
`
`suffering
`
`between
`
`the
`
`onset
`
`of Nash's
`
`disease
`
`and
`
`his
`
`death;
`
`$200,000
`
`for
`
`loss
`
`of
`
`services
`
`and
`
`society
`
`from
`
`the
`
`onset
`
`of Nash's
`
`disease
`
`until
`
`his
`
`for wrongful
`
`from
`
`date
`
`of
`
`death
`
`until
`
`date
`
`of
`
`verdict
`
`and
`
`death;
`
`$1,000,000
`
`death
`
`the
`
`$500,000
`
`for wrongful
`
`death
`
`from
`
`date
`
`of
`
`verdict
`
`until
`
`the
`
`time
`
`Mr.
`
`Nash
`
`would
`
`have
`
`otherwise
`
`been
`
`expected
`
`to
`
`live,
`
`granting
`
`a total
`
`jury
`
`award
`
`of
`
`$7.7
`
`million.
`
`Navistar
`
`moved
`
`for
`
`a directed
`
`verdict
`
`at
`
`the
`
`close
`
`of Plaintiff's
`
`proof,
`
`on
`
`the
`
`following
`
`grounds:
`
`(a)
`
`dismissal
`
`of
`
`the
`
`punitive
`
`damages
`
`cause
`
`of
`
`action
`
`for
`
`failure
`
`to
`
`prove
`
`necessary
`
`conduct;
`
`(b)
`
`dismissal
`
`of
`
`the
`
`failure
`
`to warn
`
`claim
`
`based
`
`on
`
`no
`
`legal
`
`general
`
`specific
`
`duty
`
`to
`
`bystanders
`
`such
`
`as Nash;
`
`and
`
`(c)
`
`failure
`
`of
`
`proof
`
`as
`
`to
`
`and
`
`causation
`
`based
`
`on
`
`objections
`
`to the
`
`testimony
`
`of Dr.
`
`Abraham,
`
`plaintiff's
`
`expert.
`
`The
`
`Court
`
`granted
`
`Navistar's
`
`motion
`
`dismissing
`
`the
`
`claim
`
`for
`
`punitive
`
`damages,
`
`as
`
`no
`
`such
`
`charge
`
`was
`
`presented
`
`to the
`
`jury.
`
`The
`
`issues
`
`of
`
`lack
`
`of duty
`
`to Nash
`
`and
`
`failure
`
`to
`
`prove
`
`causation
`
`will
`
`be
`
`considered
`
`as
`
`part
`
`of Navistar's
`
`post-trial
`
`motion.
`
`Defendant
`
`makes
`
`the
`
`following
`
`arguments
`
`in support
`
`of
`
`its CPLR
`
`4404(a)
`
`motion:
`
`2
`
`

`

`FILED: NASSAU COUNTY CLERK 02/19/2018 02:57 PM
`NYSCEF DOC. NO. 159
`
`INDEX NO. 605517/2016
`
`RECEIVED NYSCEF: 02/19/2018
`
`c
`
`1.
`
`2.
`
`3.
`
`4.
`
`5.
`
`causation
`The
`inadmissible
`specific
`
`opinions
`and
`Plaintiff
`causation.
`
`of Plaintiff's
`presented
`
`expert,
`insufficient
`
`Dr. Abraham,
`evidence
`
`were
`general
`of
`
`or
`
`no
`owed
`Navistar
`to
`provide
`sufficient
`to warn.
`failure
`
`to warn
`duty
`evidence
`
`a bystander
`causation
`
`of
`
`Nash
`like Mr.
`with
`respect
`
`and
`to the
`
`Plaintiff
`alleged
`
`failed
`
`A new trial
`
`should
`
`be
`
`ordered
`
`to
`
`correct
`
`errors
`
`in evidentiary
`
`rulings.
`
`The
`
`Court
`
`failed
`
`to
`
`instruct
`
`the
`
`jury
`
`on
`
`the
`
`issue
`
`of
`
`apportionment
`
`of
`
`liability.
`
`The
`were
`
`jury's
`based
`
`damage
`on
`legal
`
`awards
`errors
`
`should
`and
`
`be
`were
`
`substantially
`otherwise
`
`remitted
`excessive.
`
`because
`
`they
`
`Plaintiff
`
`opposes
`
`the motion
`
`as
`
`follows:
`
`1.
`
`2.
`
`The
`jury's
`mesothelioma
`admitted.
`
`verdict
`
`that
`exposure
`based
`upon
`
`was
`
`to
`
`asbestos
`
`convincing
`
`was
`evidence
`
`a cause
`that
`
`Causation
`
`and
`
`Duty
`
`to Warn
`
`of Mr.
`was
`
`Nash's
`
`correctly
`
`Navistar
`
`had
`
`a legal
`
`duty
`
`to warn.
`
`There
`failure
`
`was
`sufficient
`to warn
`was
`mesothelioma.
`
`for
`basis
`a proximate
`
`the
`
`jury's
`cause
`
`verdict
`of Mr.
`
`that
`Nash's
`
`Navistar's
`
`Navistar
`Nash
`
`waived
`would
`have
`
`its
`argument
`followed
`
`that
`a warning
`
`Plaintiff
`had
`
`did
`one
`
`not
`been
`
`prove
`given.
`
`that
`
`Mr.
`
`Court
`
`made
`
`no
`
`evidentiary
`
`errors
`
`that
`
`merit
`
`vacating
`
`the
`
`jury's
`
`a.
`
`b.
`
`c.
`
`The
`verdict.
`
`The
`that
`
`Court
`Plaintiff
`
`properly
`was
`
`ruled
`exposed
`
`that
`from
`
`Navistar
`
`any
`
`did
`other
`
`not meet
`entity's
`
`burden
`its
`products.
`
`of
`
`proving
`
`There
`
`is no
`
`basis
`
`for
`
`reducing
`
`the
`
`jury's
`
`damages
`
`award.
`
`a.
`
`b.
`
`Navistar
`verdict
`
`waived
`sheet.
`
`its
`
`objection
`
`to the
`
`damages
`
`questions
`
`on
`
`the
`
`The
`
`jury's
`
`damages
`
`awards
`
`were
`
`not
`
`excessive.
`
`3.
`
`4.
`
`5.
`
`3
`
`

`

`FILED: NASSAU COUNTY CLERK 02/19/2018 02:57 PM
`NYSCEF DOC. NO. 159
`
`INDEX NO. 605517/2016
`
`RECEIVED NYSCEF: 02/19/2018
`
`Under
`
`CPLR
`
`§4404(a),
`
`the
`
`Court
`
`may
`
`set
`
`aside
`
`a verdict
`
`or
`
`judgment
`
`entered
`
`after
`
`trial,
`
`and
`
`direct
`
`that
`
`judgment
`
`be
`
`entered
`
`in favor
`
`of
`
`party
`
`entitled
`
`to judgment
`
`as
`
`a matter
`
`of
`
`law,
`
`if
`
`the
`
`verdict
`
`was
`
`not
`
`supported
`
`by
`
`legally
`
`sufficient
`
`evidence,
`
`since
`
`under
`
`those
`
`circumstances
`
`there
`
`is "no
`
`valid
`
`line
`
`of
`
`reasoning
`
`and
`
`permissible
`
`inferences
`
`which
`
`could
`
`lead
`
`rational
`
`to the
`
`conclusion
`
`reached
`
`the
`
`possibly
`
`jury
`
`on
`
`the
`
`basis
`
`of
`
`the
`
`evidence
`
`presented
`
`NY2d
`
`493,
`
`499
`
`[1978]).
`
`[jurors]
`
`trial"
`
`at
`
`by
`
`(Cohen
`
`v. Hallmark
`
`Cards,
`
`45
`
`1.
`
`Admissibility
`specific
`
`of Dr.
`
`Abraham's
`
`testimony
`
`and
`
`evidence
`
`of
`
`general
`
`and
`
`causation
`
`Navistar
`
`argues
`
`that
`
`causation
`
`opinions
`
`of Plaintiff's
`
`expert,
`
`Jerrold
`
`L.
`
`Abraham,
`
`M.D.
`
`were
`
`inadmissible
`
`and
`
`should
`
`be
`
`stricken
`
`because
`
`they
`
`lacked
`
`sufficient
`
`foundation
`
`and
`
`were
`
`based
`
`on
`
`invalid
`
`assumptions.
`
`Navistar
`
`Dr.
`
`contends
`
`Abraham
`
`had
`
`no
`
`reliable
`
`basis
`
`to
`
`support
`
`his
`
`opinions
`
`as
`
`to general
`
`causation;
`
`that
`
`exposure
`
`to dust
`
`from
`
`friction
`
`products,
`
`such
`
`as
`
`brakes,
`
`can
`
`cause
`
`mesothelioma.
`
`Navistar
`
`further
`
`contends
`
`that
`
`Dr. Abraham's
`
`opinions
`
`as
`
`to specific
`
`causation
`
`were
`
`not
`
`based
`
`on
`
`any
`
`relevant
`
`"scientific
`
`expression"
`
`of Nash's
`
`exposure
`
`to
`
`asbestos
`
`from
`
`Navistar's
`
`friction
`
`products,
`
`as
`
`required
`
`by Parker
`
`v. Mobil
`
`Oil Corp.,
`
`., 7 NY3d
`
`434,
`
`449
`
`Cornell
`
`51st
`
`762
`
`and
`
`more
`
`(2006),
`
`v. 360 W.
`
`St Realty,
`
`LLC,
`
`22 NY3d
`
`(2014),
`
`recently
`
`In re New York
`
`City
`
`Asbestos
`
`Litigation
`
`(Juni),
`
`148
`
`AD3d
`
`233
`
`(1St Dept.
`
`2017).
`
`In that
`
`regard,
`
`Navistar
`
`argues
`
`that
`
`Dr. Abraham's
`
`testimony
`
`should
`
`be
`
`stricken
`
`because
`
`there
`
`was
`
`no
`
`scientific
`
`foundation
`
`for
`
`his
`
`testimony
`
`that
`
`Nash's
`
`cumulative
`
`exposure
`
`to
`
`Navistar
`
`products
`
`were
`
`substantial
`
`contributing
`
`factors
`
`in causing
`
`Nash's
`
`mesothelioma,
`
`or
`
`that
`
`"each
`
`and
`
`every
`
`was
`
`capable
`
`of
`
`causing
`
`Nash's
`
`exposure"
`
`4
`
`

`

`FILED: NASSAU COUNTY CLERK 02/19/2018 02:57 PM
`NYSCEF DOC. NO. 159
`
`INDEX NO. 605517/2016
`
`RECEIVED NYSCEF: 02/19/2018
`
`mesothelioma.
`
`Plaintiff
`
`contends
`
`that
`
`Dr. Abraham's
`
`testimony
`
`as
`
`to general
`
`and
`
`specific
`
`causation
`
`had
`
`a sufficient
`
`foundation
`
`and
`
`were
`
`based
`
`on
`
`scientific
`
`that
`
`Nash's
`
`exposure
`
`to Navistar
`
`products
`
`was
`
`substantial
`
`and
`
`constituted
`
`studies;
`
`his
`
`only
`
`proven
`
`exposure
`
`to
`
`asbestos.
`
`In Juni,
`
`the
`
`First
`
`Department
`
`considered
`
`the
`
`burden
`
`of
`
`proof
`
`set
`
`forth
`
`in Parker,
`
`which
`
`dealt
`
`with
`
`benzene
`
`exposure,
`
`and
`
`Cornell,
`
`which
`
`dealt
`
`with
`
`exposure
`
`to toxic
`
`molds,
`
`and
`
`applied
`
`those
`
`principles
`
`to asbestos
`
`exposure.
`
`The
`
`Juni
`
`Court
`
`clearly
`
`held
`
`as
`
`follows:
`
`1.
`
`2.
`
`c
`
`that
`
`The
`fact
`enough
`not
`a causation
`sufficient
`disease.
`
`of
`
`or
`asbestos,
`for
`a determination
`expert
`still
`must
`levels
`toxin
`the
`
`chrysotile,
`of
`establish
`from
`the
`
`liability
`
`has
`
`been
`against
`the
`that
`defendants'
`
`linked
`to mesothelioma,
`a particular
`defendant;
`plaintiff
`was
`exposed
`products
`to cause
`
`to
`the
`
`is
`
`necessary
`established
`
`is not
`It
`must
`be
`mathematical
`the
`
`that
`
`of
`
`exposure;
`method,
`work
`
`however,
`such
`
`causation
`
`as
`or
`
`comparing
`
`to quantify
`through
`based
`with
`
`modeling
`exposure
`
`a plaintiff's
`some
`scientific
`on
`a plaintiff's
`subjects
`
`plaintiff's
`
`history,
`reported
`
`of
`
`studies.
`
`are
`
`Experts
`otherwise
`and
`cannot
`association
`
`required
`provide
`
`to
`some
`
`either
`scientific
`
`simply
`between
`
`testify
`only
`asbestos
`
`decedent's
`quantify
`expression
`an
`of
`in terms
`and
`mesothelioma.
`
`exposure
`of
`plaintiff's
`increased
`
`risk
`
`levels
`exposure
`and
`
`or
`
`level,
`
`Causation
`defendant's
`studies
`products
`an
`adequate
`
`that
`at
`
`based
`
`on
`
`only
`asbestos-containing
`measure
`the
`and
`issue
`foundation
`
`showing
`for
`
`visible
`
`amount
`
`dust
`emanating
`will
`product
`of
`asbestos
`the
`amount
`
`from
`a particular
`enough.
`be
`not
`fibers
`released
`is hazardous,
`
`to
`
`Citation
`the
`provide
`
`by
`will
`
`that
`liability.
`
`3.
`
`4.
`
`5.
`
`That
`
`proof
`
`of
`
`causation
`
`is based
`
`on
`
`the
`
`discrete
`
`facts
`
`of
`
`each
`
`case.
`
`J uni
`
`holds
`
`that
`
`the
`
`standards
`
`set
`
`by Parker
`
`"
`"are
`
`not
`
`altered
`
`by"
`
`Lustenring
`
`v.
`
`A.C.
`
`6 S.
`
`Inc.,
`
`13 AD3d
`
`69
`
`(2004)
`
`Iv. denied
`
`4 NY3d
`
`708
`
`(2005);
`
`Penn
`
`v Amchem
`
`Products,
`
`85 AD3d
`
`875
`
`(Marshall),
`
`28 AD3d
`
`255
`
`(1St
`
`(1st
`
`Dept.
`
`2011);
`
`Matter
`
`of New York
`
`Asbestos
`
`Litigation
`
`Dept.
`
`2006).
`
`In each
`
`of
`
`those
`
`cases
`
`the
`
`trial
`
`court
`
`was
`
`5
`
`

`

`FILED: NASSAU COUNTY CLERK 02/19/2018 02:57 PM
`NYSCEF DOC. NO. 159
`
`INDEX NO. 605517/2016
`
`RECEIVED NYSCEF: 02/19/2018
`
`entitled
`
`to
`
`rely
`
`on
`
`evidence
`
`linking
`
`visible
`
`dust
`
`to the
`
`use
`
`of
`
`the
`
`particular
`
`product,
`
`where
`
`expert
`
`testimony
`
`established
`
`that
`
`the
`
`extent
`
`and
`
`quantity
`
`of
`
`the
`
`dust
`
`to which
`
`plaintiff
`
`had
`
`been
`
`exposed
`
`contained
`
`enough
`
`asbestos
`
`to cause
`
`the mesothelioma.
`
`In
`
`J_uni,
`
`the
`
`testimony
`
`of
`
`plaintiff's
`
`experts
`
`as
`
`to the
`
`content
`
`of
`
`the
`
`dust
`
`to which
`
`decedent
`
`was
`
`exposed
`
`was
`
`found
`
`by
`
`the
`
`court
`
`to
`
`be
`
`equivocal
`
`at
`
`best,
`
`and
`
`insufficient
`
`to
`
`prove
`
`exposed
`
`that
`
`the
`
`dust
`
`to which
`
`the
`
`Juni
`
`plaintiff
`
`was
`
`contained
`
`any
`
`asbestos,
`
`or
`
`enough
`
`to cause
`
`his mesothelioma.
`
`Id,
`
`at 237.
`
`As
`
`noted
`
`by
`
`the
`
`Court
`
`of Appeals
`
`in Parker,
`
`"an
`
`opinion
`
`on
`
`causation
`
`should
`
`set
`
`forth
`
`a plaintiff's
`
`exposure
`
`to
`
`a toxin,
`
`that
`
`the
`
`toxin
`
`is capable
`
`of
`
`causing
`
`the
`
`particular
`
`illness
`
`(general
`
`causation)
`
`and
`
`that
`
`plaintiff
`
`was
`
`exposed
`
`to
`
`sufficient
`
`levels
`
`of
`
`the
`
`toxin
`
`to
`
`cause
`
`the
`
`illness
`
`(specific
`
`causation)"
`
`7 NY3d
`
`at 448.
`
`qualifications
`
`of
`
`exposure
`
`levels
`
`or use
`
`of
`
`The
`
`Court
`
`in Parker
`
`held
`
`that
`
`precise
`
`c
`
`the
`
`dose
`
`response
`
`relationship
`
`is not
`
`always
`
`necessary,
`
`provided
`
`whatever
`
`methods
`
`the
`
`expert
`
`uses
`
`are
`
`generally
`
`accepted
`
`in the
`
`scientific
`
`community.
`
`"So
`
`long
`
`as
`
`plaintiff's
`
`experts
`
`have
`
`provided
`
`a scientific
`
`expression
`
`of plaintiff's
`
`exposure
`
`levels,
`
`they
`
`will
`
`have
`
`laid
`
`an
`
`adequate
`
`foundation
`
`for
`
`their
`
`opinions
`
`on
`
`specific
`
`causation",
`
`(Nonnon
`
`v. City
`
`of New York,
`
`88 AD3d
`
`384,
`
`396
`
`[3d
`
`Dept.
`
`2011]).
`
`As
`
`for
`
`general
`
`causation,
`
`the
`
`link
`
`between
`
`asbestos
`
`and
`
`disease
`
`is well
`
`documented,
`
`and
`
`Navistar
`
`does
`
`not
`
`dispute
`
`that
`
`it
`
`is generally
`
`accepted
`
`that
`
`inhalation
`
`"raw"
`
`of
`
`asbestos
`
`fibers
`
`can
`
`contribute
`
`to
`
`an
`
`individual
`
`risk
`
`of
`
`developing
`
`mesothelioma,
`
`as
`
`testified
`
`to
`
`by Dr.
`
`Abraham
`
`(Defendant's
`
`Reply
`
`Memorandum
`
`of
`
`Law,
`
`page
`
`4).
`
`See Wieqman
`
`v. AC&S,
`
`Inc.,
`
`24 AD3d
`
`375
`
`[1"
`
`Dept.
`
`2006])
`
`("
`("The
`
`link
`
`between
`
`asbestos
`
`and
`
`disease
`
`is well-documented,
`
`and
`
`the
`
`parties
`
`merely
`
`differed
`
`as
`
`to whether
`
`the
`
`asbestos
`
`contained
`
`in this
`
`particular
`
`product
`
`could
`
`be
`
`released
`
`in
`
`6
`
`

`

`FILED: NASSAU COUNTY CLERK 02/19/2018 02:57 PM
`NYSCEF DOC. NO. 159
`
`INDEX NO. 605517/2016
`
`RECEIVED NYSCEF: 02/19/2018
`
`respirable
`
`form
`
`so
`
`as
`
`to
`
`cause
`
`disease.
`
`Since
`
`the
`
`parties
`
`agreed
`
`on
`
`causation,
`
`no
`
`novel
`
`scientific
`
`technique
`
`or
`
`application
`
`of
`
`science
`
`was
`
`at
`
`issue,
`
`and
`
`a frye
`
`hearing
`
`was
`
`not warranted")
`
`Navistar
`
`contends,
`
`as
`
`have
`
`other
`
`friction
`
`defendants,
`
`that
`
`Abraham'
`Dr. Abraham's
`
`testimony
`
`should
`
`be
`
`stricken
`
`due
`
`to
`
`lack
`
`of
`
`epidemological
`
`studies
`
`showing
`
`an
`
`increased
`
`risk
`
`of mesothelioma
`
`in auto
`
`mechanics,
`
`and
`
`that
`
`the
`
`length
`
`of
`
`asbestos
`
`in brakes
`
`and
`
`the
`
`conversion
`
`of
`
`to
`
`fibers
`
`braking
`
`eliminates
`
`brakes
`
`as
`
`a cause
`
`of mesothelioma.
`
`Dr. Abraham
`
`testified
`
`that
`
`asbestos
`
`non-asbestos
`
`fosterite
`
`during
`
`both
`
`long
`
`(greater
`
`than
`
`five
`
`microns)
`
`and
`
`short
`
`fibers,
`
`found
`
`in brake
`
`dust,
`
`cause
`
`mesothelioma,
`
`and
`
`that
`
`if even
`
`a small
`
`percentage
`
`of
`
`such
`
`fibers
`
`are
`
`greater
`
`than
`
`five
`
`microns,
`
`they
`
`would
`
`still
`
`be
`
`in the millions.
`
`He further
`
`testified
`
`that
`
`the
`
`levels
`
`of
`
`such
`
`asbestos
`
`measured
`
`in the
`
`air
`
`in the
`
`vicinity
`
`of
`
`brake
`
`work
`
`were
`
`at
`
`least
`
`10,000
`
`times
`
`of
`
`which
`
`c
`
`above
`
`background
`
`levels
`
`asbestos,
`
`would
`
`be
`
`sufficient
`
`to
`
`cause
`
`mesothelioma.
`
`Dr. Abraham
`
`also
`
`testified
`
`that
`
`studies
`
`have
`
`shown
`
`that
`
`not
`
`all
`
`asbestos
`
`in brakes
`
`is converted
`
`to fosterite
`
`by
`
`the
`
`braking
`
`process,
`
`although
`
`most
`
`is
`
`depending
`
`on
`
`braking
`
`conditions.
`
`Further,
`
`his
`
`testimony
`
`was
`
`that
`
`installation
`
`of new
`
`brakes,
`
`which
`
`involves
`
`grinding
`
`and
`
`riveting,
`
`does
`
`not
`
`involve
`
`conversion
`
`of
`
`asbestos
`
`to fosterite
`
`and
`
`causes
`
`the
`
`release
`
`of
`
`chrysotile
`
`asbestos,
`
`which
`
`is generally
`
`tremolite.
`
`offered
`
`expert
`
`Stephen
`
`contaminated
`
`by
`
`Plaintiff
`
`also
`
`testimony
`
`by Dr.
`
`Compton
`
`that
`
`the
`
`School's
`
`methods
`
`to clean
`
`the
`
`garage
`
`or use
`
`of water
`
`when
`
`cleaning
`
`the
`
`brakes
`
`effected
`
`the
`
`spread
`
`of
`
`asbestos
`
`throughout
`
`the
`
`garage
`
`and
`
`did
`
`not
`
`remove
`
`it
`
`from
`
`the
`
`workplace.
`
`Evidence
`
`was
`
`presented
`
`that
`
`the
`
`opinion
`
`of Defendant's
`
`expert,
`
`Dr.
`
`Beasley,
`
`that
`
`exposure
`
`to
`
`chrysotile
`
`asbestos
`
`does
`
`not
`
`cause
`
`mesothelioma,
`
`is not
`
`shared
`
`by
`
`a majority
`
`of
`
`the
`
`relevant
`
`scientific
`
`and
`
`medical
`
`community.
`
`The
`
`question
`
`7
`
`

`

`FILED: NASSAU COUNTY CLERK 02/19/2018 02:57 PM
`NYSCEF DOC. NO. 159
`
`INDEX NO. 605517/2016
`
`RECEIVED NYSCEF: 02/19/2018
`
`of general
`
`causation
`
`was
`
`thus
`
`the
`
`subject
`
`of
`
`competing
`
`expert
`
`opinion
`
`and
`
`properly
`
`before
`
`the
`
`jury
`
`for
`
`its
`
`consideration.
`
`Dr. Abraham's
`
`testimony
`
`was
`
`properly
`
`admitted
`
`for
`
`consideration
`
`by
`
`the
`
`jury
`
`and
`
`was
`
`also
`
`sufficient
`
`to make
`
`a showing
`
`of
`
`specific
`
`causation.
`
`There
`
`was
`
`significant
`
`testimony
`
`as
`
`to the
`
`scope
`
`of Nash's
`
`exposure
`
`to
`
`asbestos
`
`at
`
`the
`
`Fayetteville-Manlius
`
`Central
`
`School
`
`District
`
`bus
`
`garage
`
`from
`
`1957
`
`to
`
`1986.
`
`There
`
`was
`
`evidence
`
`that
`
`Navistar
`
`supplied
`
`component
`
`buses
`
`and
`
`brakes
`
`and
`
`gaskets
`
`to
`
`the
`
`School
`
`during
`
`the
`
`period
`
`of
`
`alleged
`
`exposure.
`
`Dr.
`
`Abraham's
`
`opinion
`
`was
`
`that
`
`the
`
`visible
`
`dust
`
`to which
`
`Plaintiff
`
`was
`
`exposed,
`
`which
`
`derived
`
`from
`
`bake
`
`and
`
`gasket
`
`work
`
`being
`
`performed
`
`by
`
`mechanics
`
`in the
`
`Fayetteville-Manlius
`
`Central
`
`School
`
`bus
`
`garage,
`
`contained
`
`asbestos
`
`in a quantity
`
`thousands
`
`of
`
`times
`
`greater
`
`than
`
`background
`
`and was
`
`sufficient
`
`to
`
`be
`
`a
`
`substantial
`
`contributing
`
`cause
`
`of Mr.
`
`Nash's
`
`mesothelioma,
`
`(Penn
`
`v. Amchem
`
`c
`
`supra
`
`85 AD3d
`
`Dr. Abraham's
`
`which
`
`Products,
`
`475).
`
`testimony,
`
`was
`
`based
`
`in part
`
`on
`
`air
`
`sampling
`
`statistics
`
`testified
`
`to
`
`by Dr.
`
`Stephen
`
`Compton
`
`and
`
`the
`
`Rohl
`
`study,
`
`among
`
`others,
`
`of
`
`asbestos
`
`employees
`
`to
`
`bystanders
`
`in the
`
`vicinity
`
`of
`
`brake
`
`work,
`
`set
`
`forth
`
`a
`
`"scientific
`
`expression"
`
`of
`
`an
`
`exposure
`
`level
`
`sufficient
`
`to support
`
`the
`
`claims
`
`against
`
`Navistar,
`
`(Matter
`
`of NYS Asbestos
`
`Litigation
`
`(Dummit
`
`v. A.W.
`
`Chesterton),
`
`36 Misc.3d
`
`1234(A),
`
`aff'd
`
`121 AD3d
`
`230
`
`[15t
`
`Dept.
`
`2014],
`
`aff'd
`
`on
`
`other
`
`grounds
`
`27 NY3d
`
`765;
`
`69).
`
`Aiso
`
`Dominick
`
`Millar
`
`Lustenring
`
`v. AC&S,
`
`Inc.,
`
`supra,
`
`13 AD3d
`
`See
`
`v. Charles
`
`8
`
`Sons
`
`Co.,
`
`149 AD3d
`
`1554
`
`(4th
`
`Dept.
`
`2017),
`
`Where
`
`Plaintiff's
`
`expert
`
`testified
`
`that,
`
`if a
`
`*
`
`worker
`
`sees
`
`asbestos
`
`dust,
`
`that
`
`is a "massive
`
`exposure...capable
`
`of
`
`causing
`
`disease".
`
`In Dominick
`
`the
`
`defendant's
`
`products
`
`consisted
`
`of
`
`bags
`
`of
`
`asbestos
`
`and
`
`asbestos
`
`boards,
`
`and
`
`there
`
`was
`
`no
`
`real
`
`dispute
`
`that
`
`dust
`
`from
`
`these
`
`products
`
`contained
`
`asbestos.
`
`The
`
`opinion
`
`of Plaintiff's
`
`expert
`
`in Dominick
`
`was
`
`that
`
`the
`
`visible
`
`dust
`
`to
`
`8
`
`

`

`FILED: NASSAU COUNTY CLERK 02/19/2018 02:57 PM
`NYSCEF DOC. NO. 159
`
`INDEX NO. 605517/2016
`
`RECEIVED NYSCEF: 02/19/2018
`
`which
`
`Plaintiff
`
`was
`
`exposed,
`
`which
`
`derived
`
`from
`
`the
`
`cutting
`
`of
`
`asbestos
`
`millboard
`
`and
`
`dumping
`
`bags
`
`of
`
`asbestos
`
`into
`
`tubs
`
`or
`
`bins,
`
`contained
`
`asbestos
`
`in a quantity
`
`thousands
`
`of
`
`times
`
`great
`
`than
`
`background
`
`and
`
`was
`
`sufficient
`
`to
`
`cause
`
`Plaintiff's
`
`mesothelioma.
`
`Such
`
`exposure
`
`occurred
`
`at Plaintiff's
`
`workplace
`
`on
`
`a daily
`
`basis,
`
`for
`
`three
`
`months
`
`each
`
`year,
`
`over
`
`approximately
`
`five
`
`years.
`
`The
`
`Fourth
`
`Department
`
`noted
`
`that
`
`the
`
`expert's
`
`overall
`
`the
`
`v. Mobil
`
`for
`
`specifically
`
`testimony
`
`met
`
`Parker
`
`Oil
`
`test
`
`specific
`
`causation
`
`and,
`
`by
`
`implication,
`
`the
`
`holding
`
`of
`
`Juni
`
`which
`
`adheres
`
`to those
`
`requirements.
`
`To
`
`the
`
`extent
`
`Dominick
`
`may
`
`be
`
`said
`
`to depart
`
`from
`
`Junj
`
`and
`
`adopts
`
`a
`
`somewhat
`
`lesser
`
`standard
`
`of
`
`proof,
`
`Dominick
`
`would
`
`control
`
`in the
`
`instant
`
`case.
`
`The
`
`proof
`
`in this
`
`case
`
`met
`
`the
`
`level
`
`of
`
`scientific
`
`expression
`
`set
`
`forth
`
`in J_uni,
`
`Parker
`
`and
`
`certainly
`
`Dominick.
`
`Dr. Abraham's
`
`that
`
`Nash's
`
`exposure
`
`to chrysotile
`
`asbestos
`
`in the
`
`bus
`
`testimony
`
`a
`
`garage
`
`was
`
`part
`
`of
`
`his
`
`cumulative
`
`exposure
`
`and was
`
`a substantial
`
`factor
`
`in causing
`
`his mesothelioma
`
`was
`
`therefore
`
`supported
`
`by
`
`the
`
`record
`
`and
`
`properly
`
`submitted
`
`to the
`
`jury.
`
`Navistar's
`
`arguments
`
`go
`
`to the
`
`weight
`
`which
`
`the
`
`jury
`
`should
`
`have
`
`given
`
`Dr.
`
`Abraham's
`
`testimony,
`
`not
`
`its admissibility.
`
`From
`
`the
`
`foregoing,
`
`Dr. Abraham's
`
`testimony
`
`met
`
`the
`
`standards
`
`set
`
`forth
`
`in
`
`Juni,
`
`Lustenring,
`
`Penn
`
`and
`
`Dominick
`
`in that
`
`there
`
`was
`
`a foundation
`
`or
`
`scientific
`
`expression
`
`to
`
`Nash's
`
`based
`
`on
`
`of
`
`an
`
`exposure
`
`level
`
`sufficient
`
`cause
`
`mesothelioma,
`
`witness
`
`testimony
`
`of
`
`the
`
`frequency,
`
`duration
`
`and
`
`level
`
`of Plaintiff's
`
`exposure
`
`together
`
`with
`
`studies
`
`of
`
`the
`
`asbestos
`
`fiber
`
`content
`
`of
`
`dust
`
`generated
`
`by
`
`brake
`
`work
`
`in a garage
`
`setting,
`
`all
`
`of which
`
`constituted
`
`sufficient
`
`quantitative
`
`evidence
`
`of Nash's
`
`exposure
`
`to
`
`asbestos.
`
`It
`
`is clear
`
`that
`
`Plaintiff's
`
`experts
`
`did
`
`not
`
`solely
`
`rely
`
`on
`
`a generalized,
`
`unsupported
`
`opinion
`
`that
`
`any
`
`single
`
`exposure
`
`above
`
`background
`
`levels
`
`can
`
`be
`
`treated
`
`9
`
`

`

`FILED: NASSAU COUNTY CLERK 02/19/2018 02:57 PM
`NYSCEF DOC. NO. 159
`
`INDEX NO. 605517/2016
`
`RECEIVED NYSCEF: 02/19/2018
`
`as
`
`a substantial
`
`contribution
`
`to
`
`an
`
`asbestos
`
`related
`
`disease,
`
`commonly
`
`referred
`
`to
`
`as
`
`the
`
`"each
`
`and
`
`every
`
`exposure"
`
`theory.
`
`Navistar
`
`presented
`
`several
`
`expert
`
`witnesses
`
`who
`
`testified
`
`at
`
`length
`
`that
`
`Navistar's
`
`exposure
`
`to asbestos
`
`from
`
`brakes
`
`in general
`
`and
`
`from
`
`brake
`
`work
`
`in the
`
`bus
`
`garage
`
`in particular
`
`could
`
`not
`
`have
`
`caused
`
`his mesothelioma.
`
`The
`
`jury was
`
`appropriately
`
`given
`
`the
`
`opportunity
`
`to fully
`
`consider
`
`that
`
`and
`
`resolve
`
`the
`
`testimony
`
`credibility
`
`and
`
`contentions
`
`of
`
`the
`
`various
`
`experts
`
`on
`
`these
`
`issues.
`
`Based
`
`on
`
`the
`
`evidence
`
`presented
`
`there
`
`was
`
`a valid
`
`line
`
`of
`
`reasoning
`
`and
`
`permissible
`
`inference
`
`which
`
`led
`
`the
`
`jury
`
`to
`
`reach
`
`its
`
`result.
`
`Defendant's
`
`motions
`
`for
`
`directed
`
`verdict
`
`and
`
`its
`
`post
`
`trial motion
`
`are
`
`therefore
`
`denied
`
`as
`
`to the
`
`issues
`
`of general
`
`and
`
`specific
`
`causation.
`
`The
`
`jury
`
`verdict
`
`was
`
`evidence
`
`that
`
`Defendant
`
`was
`
`and
`
`its
`
`supported
`
`by
`
`legally
`
`sufficient
`
`negligent
`
`c
`
`negligence
`
`was
`
`a proximate
`
`cause
`
`of Plaintiff's
`
`injury.
`
`2.
`
`Duty
`
`to Warn
`
`/ Proximate
`
`Cause
`
`Based
`
`on
`
`Failure
`
`to Warn
`
`Navistar
`
`contends
`
`it owed
`
`no
`
`legal
`
`duty
`
`to warn
`
`Nash
`
`of
`
`the
`
`potential
`
`dangers
`
`of
`
`its
`
`products
`
`by
`
`reason
`
`of Nash's
`
`status
`
`as
`
`a bystander
`
`and
`
`not
`
`a direct
`
`user
`
`of
`
`their
`
`products.
`
`Navistar
`
`argues
`
`that
`
`Nash's
`
`employer
`
`was
`
`in a superior
`
`position
`
`to
`
`protect
`
`warnings
`
`tailored
`
`to
`
`its
`
`employees
`
`and
`
`that
`
`Navistar
`
`had
`
`no
`
`duty
`
`to
`
`provide
`
`specifically
`
`Nash.
`
`The
`
`Court
`
`must
`
`determine
`
`whether
`
`an
`
`applicable
`
`duty
`
`to warn
`
`owed
`
`the
`
`by
`
`manufacturer
`
`to the
`
`injured
`
`party
`
`exists
`
`in the
`
`first
`
`instance,
`
`(Matter
`
`of New York
`
`City
`
`Asbestos
`
`Litigation
`
`(Dummitt),
`
`27 NY 3d
`
`765,
`
`787
`
`[2016]).
`
`A duty
`
`to warn
`
`may
`
`not
`
`be
`
`based
`
`entirely
`
`on
`
`the
`
`foreseeability
`
`of
`
`the
`
`harm
`
`at
`
`issue,
`
`though
`
`foreseeability
`
`defines
`
`10
`
`

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