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Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Dept. (NYCAL): Indirect Evidence of Contractor Presence Enough to Go to Jury (Feb. 5, 2015) February 9, 2015

In this NYCAL case, the plaintiff was unable to identify the tapers and floor tile installers who were present at the World Trade Center site in 1970 when he was allegedly exposed to asbestos. However, the plaintiff produced documentary evidence, as well as general co-worker testimony, that Star Circle Wall Systems, Inc. and Circle Floor Co., Inc. (alleged predecessors-in-interest to defendant Andal Corp.) were contractors on the project. The lower court ruled that this evidence was enough to permit the jury to draw the inference that these were the contractors performing the work when the plaintiff was present. The First Department affirmed this decision, stating: “The record presents triable issues of fact as to whether Andal’s alleged predecessors-in-interest performed certain construction work at the former World Trade Center site, and were responsible for plaintiff’s exposure to asbestos at the site. Although plaintiff failed to identify any entity that used asbestos during the period that he worked at the site in 1970, he submitted sufficient evidence to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether Andal’s alleged predecessors-in-interest were present during that period and used an asbestos product in the area in which plaintiff worked.”

Click here for a copy of the lower court decision.

Click here for a copy of the appeals court decision.

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