Matthew Swalling v. Reichhold Chemicals, Inc., et al.

Date: February 17, 2011
Court: Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York

HPTY represented a supplier of plastic materials allegedly used in the manufacture of telephone and wiring equipment.  Plaintiff worked in the telephone industry from 1967 to 1980 and alleged that exposure to asbestos during this time caused his mesothelioma.  Plaintiff was 63 years old when he died and had a lost wages claim of several million dollars. 

Plaintiff's counsel produced some evidence that HPTY's client was an approved supplier of plastic components used by Plaintiff's employer, but had no evidence of actual product usage.  Further, HPTY developed a strong theory of alternative causation based on Plaintiff's work with fireproofing and insulation materials at several of his job sites.  Despite the lack of real product identification, Plaintiff's counsel tried to leverage settlement by conjuring up numerous discovery disputes and moving to strike Defendant’s answer.  None of these tactics proved successful.

After two weeks of jury selection, and during opening statements, Plaintiff's counsel agreed to dismiss our client from the case.