The New York Supreme court ordered a joint trial of two mesothelioma lawsuits, of Joel and Sharon Rosenberg and Joseph Casale, resulting from asbestos exposure in the workplace to take place on November 5, 2007. Mr. Rosenberg resided in Jackson, New Jersey when he developed pleural mesothelioma due to workplace asbestos exposure; he died from this asbestos cancer at the age of 64. Mr. Casale, who is living with pleural mesothelioma at the age of 65, resides in Lantana, Florida.
Mr. Rosenberg was a life-long electrician with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (“IBEW”), Local 3, started in the trade while still a teenager in 1960. Mr. Rosenberg’s workplace asbestos exposure occurred while working in the electrician trade in work sites in New York in a variety of worksites including the Arthur Kill Powerhouse in Staten Island, the World Trade Center, Kennedy Airport and Rockefeller Center. Electricians, such as Mr. Rosenberg, sustained asbestos exposure in the workplace from sources including the cutting and splicing of wire and cable that was insulated with asbestos, as well as the drilling of asbestos-containing electrical control panels.
Mr. Casale was a career steam fitter (also known as pipe fitter). At the time, steamfitters were unknowingly endangered with asbestos exposure in their workplace due to asbestos being used in boilers and other equipment. While still a teenager, Mr. Casale worked at shipyards, including the Brooklyn Navy Yard, as a member of the Local Union 638 throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Mr. Casale later moved to Florida and was diagnosed with mesothelioma which immediately linked to his previous asbestos exposure in the workplace from equipments, including pumps, valves, and boilers, as well as from gaskets and insulation.
Opposing parties argued that the cases should be tried separately because Mr. Rosenberg and Mr. Casale worked in different trades and their claimed workplace asbestos exposure occurred at different job sites. However, the plaintiffs’ mesothelioma lawyers convinced the Court that these cases should be tried together to save costs and insure that each family received their day in court as soon as possible. Accordingly, the New York Civil Practice Law and Rule (“CPLR”) Section 602 permits cases to be joined for trial to “avoid unnecessary costs or delay.”