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Fisher/Reinhardt Secure New York Summary Judgment Victory on Causation

Fisher/Reinhardt Secure New York Summary Judgment Victory on Causation

Kurowski Shultz Attorneys At Law


The New York Supreme Court (Nassau County) has granted KS Client, American Biltrite, Inc.’s, “Juni” Motion for Summary Judgment. The motion, penned by KS Associate Justin Reinhardt, argued that the plaintiff, Victoria Pistone, could not establish: (1) that chrysotile asbestos fibers cause peritoneal mesothelioma (general causation), and (2) that Pistone was exposed to sufficient levels of chrysotile asbestos fibers from American Biltrite’s products to cause her disease (specific causation).

Following a thorough review of the reports of American Biltrite’s experts, John Spencer, CIH, and Dr. James Crapo, Judge George Peck held that American Biltrite had established “both that its product was not the general or specific cause of the plaintiff’s peritoneal mesothelioma.” The Court went on to state that plaintiff, through her experts, Steven Paskal, CIH, and Drs. Josephine Moline and David Zhang, “has failed to establish general causation, i.e., that chrysotile asbestos causes peritoneal mesothelioma, let alone specific causation, i.e., that…vinyl floor sheets and/or tiles manufactured by [American Biltrite] contained sufficient amounts of chrysotile asbestos to cause peritoneal mesothelioma.” 

The Court held that “plaintiff has not identified any generally accepted scientific opinion or scientific data that demonstrates that chrysotile asbestos can cause peritoneal mesothelioma,” and that none of the studies relied upon by the plaintiff’s experts constituted generally accepted studies to support such a theory. Similarly, the Court went on to state that “[t]here is insufficient scientific evidence that as a result of her exposure to [American Biltrite’s] products, the plaintiff was exposed to an asbestos that has been found to cause peritoneal mesothelioma, nor is there scientific evidence which establishes that she was subjected to a sufficient amount of such an asbestos to be caused to suffer from that disease.”

KS Principal, David Fisher, argued the motion. The case is Pistone v. American Biltrite, Inc., et al., Nassau County Index No. 607637-15, Order dated April 19, 2018.

Decision can be accessed here.