N.J. man files asbestos mass tort claim in Phila. courts

By Jon Campisi | Nov 17, 2011

A New Jersey man who was diagnosed with lung cancer last summer has filed a mass tort complaint in Pennsylvania state court against companies that deal in the manufacture and production of asbestos-related products.

The lawsuit was filed as a short-form complaint in the master asbestos litigation docket at Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas Nov. 15 by Cherry Hill, N.J. attorney Robert M. Silverman of Weitz & Luxenberg.

The plaintiffs in the case are Benjamin and Irene Califano of Matawan, N.J.

Named as defendants in the suit are Honeywell International, Inc.; Ingersoll Rand Company, ITT Corporation, as successor to Bell & Gossett Company; Rapid-American Corporation; Owens Illinois, Inc.; A.O. Smith Water Products, Co.; American Honda Motor Co., Inc.; DAP Products, Inc.; Ford Motor Company; Georgia Pacific, LLC; and Goulds Pumps, Inc.

According to the complaint, Benjamin Califano, 53, never smoked, yet he was diagnosed on July 7, 2010 as having lung cancer, which he attributes to his exposure to asbestos dust and fibers during his working career.

The lawsuit states that Califano first served in the United States Navy from 1976 to 1979, where he was stationed aboard the USS Lemore County and at the Newport News Naval Shipyard, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Little Creek Naval Station and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Califano also worked as a stationary engineer at Georgia Pacific Company in Newark, N.J. from 1982 to 1984. He also worked in building maintenance and as a boilerman at Prudential Insurance Co. in Holmdel, N.J. from 1984 to 1986, and later did home renovation work and personal automotive brake work.

The plaintiffs seek relief as set forth in the master asbestos litigation at Common Pleas Court.

A jury trial is being sought.

The case number is 111101121.

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