Asbestos Victims Might Reopen Cases In Wake Of BASF Appeal Finding

Hollywood may have its next true-to-life legal story and asbestos victims with long-settled lawsuits against BASF Catalysts may have new claims in the wake of a federal appeals court ruling. Judges found that the the company “… and its attorneys must face claims that they fraudulently concealed evidence that the company’s talc products contained asbestos, forcing many asbestos victims to dismiss or settle their tort claims,” according to The Courthouse News and other sources.
Judge Julio Fuentes, writing a three-judge panel in the 3rd Circuit, said that “… we conclude that the [lower] District Court erred when it dismissed the fraud and fraudulent concealment claims. The amended class action complaint properly alleges the elements of fraud and fraudulent concealment – namely that BASF and Cahill lied about and destroyed the asbestos evidence to plaintiffs’ detriment. Neither the New Jersey litigation privilege nor pleading requirements stand in the way of these claims.”
The Courthouse News added that, “… however, the court found it premature to make a ruling on any particular legal defense that defendants might make if plaintiffs seek to reopen state cases.”
The report offered, by way of background and plot twist: “The scheme collapsed in a recent lawsuit when a former research chemist for Engelhard testified that he had discovered asbestos in the company’s talc many years ago, and had been instructed to turn over all of his talc-related records. This testimony triggered discovery of potentially concealed documents, of which many were found kept secretly in a Cahill storage facility.”
Read the report here: Courthouse News Service