West University, Texas
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Austin, TX 78705
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​Testimony could reopen thousands of asbestos cases. December 3, 2014

West University, Austin
​Testimony could reopen thousands of asbestos cases., Austin, Texas

The American Lawyer (12/3, Beck, 34K) reports that Cahill Gordon & Reindel’s “asbestos problem began on June 15, 2009, when David Swanson, a 73-year-old retired chemical engineer, walked into the offices of Cohen, Placitella & Roth in the seaside town of Red Bank, N.J.” Swanson “had worked for 37 years as a research engineer at New Jersey-based Engelhard Corporation and predecessor companies, retiring in 1996” and his daughter, Donna Paduano, “was suing his former employer, and Swanson was about to be deposed for the first time in his life.” Paduano had mesothelioma, and Paduano “claimed that her father was exposed to asbestos on the job, and that she came into contact with it from his work clothes and from her visits to his laboratory.” By the time “Paduano filed her suit in 2009, Engelhard no longer existed, having been acquired in 2006 by the giant German chemical company BASF SE,” so her attorney, Christopher Placitella, “sued one of BASF’s U.S.-based divisions, BASF Catalysts LLC.” Swanson testified that Engelhard “knew that there was asbestos in its talc, and had sought to destroy that evidence,” although Engelhard, BASF and Cahill “had maintained in thousands of asbestos cases that the company’s talc was asbestos-free.” BASF now “faces the prospect of having to defend itself in thousands of closed asbestos suits that could be reopened.”

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