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Bus’s toxic parts caused man’s mesothelioma, estate alleged






New York


Onondaga County


Onondaga Supreme

Injury Type(s):

other-death; other-fatigue; cancer-chemotherapy; cancer-mesothelioma; pulmonary/respiratory-respiratory

Case Type:

Toxic Torts – Asbestos; Products Liability – Asbestos, Automobiles, Failure to Warn, Marketing Defect

Case Name:

Lewis and Mary Nash v. A.W. Chesterton Co., Inc.; Weil McLain; HB Smith Co Inc; Georgia-Pacific LLC; Kentile Floors Inc; CertainTeed Corp, Dana Corp & Union Carbide Corp; G.H. Miner Co Inc; Syracuse Supply Co; Tasco Insulation Inc; Troy Belting & Supply; D&B Acoustical Corp; Sheridan Supply & National Automotive Parts Assoc; Abex Corp ArvinMeritor Inc & Maremont Corp; Borg-Warner Corp; Burns Bros Cont Inc;,
No. 719/12


December 19, 2014



Mary Nash , 

Estate of Lewis Nash (Male, 81 Years)

Plaintiff Attorney(s):

Keith W. Binder;
Levy Konigsberg LLP;
New York,
Mary Nash, Estate of Lewis Nash ■ Amber R. Long;
Levy Konigsberg LLP;
New York,
Mary Nash, Estate of Lewis Nash

Plaintiff Expert(s):

David Rosner;
Public Health;
New York,
NY called by
Keith W. Binder, Amber R. Long ■ Steven Compton;
Materials Science;
GA called by
Keith W. Binder, Amber R. Long ■ Jerrold Abraham;
NY called by
Keith W. Binder, Amber R. Long


Abex Corp., 


Navistar Inc., 

Maremont Corp., 

ArvinMeritor Inc., 

Borg-Warner Corp., 

CertainTeed Corp., 

GH Miner Co. Inc., 

HB Smith Co. Inc., 

Dana Holding Corp., 

Georgia-Pacific LLC, 

Kentile Floors Inc., 

Syracuse Supply Co., 

Union Carbide Corp., 

D&B Acoustical Corp., 

Tasco Insulation Inc., 

A.W. Chesterton Co. Inc., 

Burns Bros Contractors Inc., 

Troy Belting and Supply Co., 

Sheridan Supply & National Automotive Parts Association

Defense Attorney(s):

None reported;

Abex Corp., Weil-McLain, Maremont Corp., ArvinMeritor Inc., Borg-Warner Corp., CertainTeed Corp., GH Miner Co. Inc., HB Smith Co. Inc., Dana Holding Corp., Georgia-Pacific LLC, Kentile Floors Inc., Syracuse Supply Co., Union Carbide Corp., D&B Acoustical Corp., Tasco Insulation Inc., A.W. Chesterton Co. Inc., Burns Bros Contractors Inc., Troy Belting and Supply Co., Sheridan Supply & National Automotive Parts Association ■ Holly M. Polglase;
Hermes, Netburn, O’Connor & Spearing, P.C.;
Navistar Inc. ■ Anthony J. Sbarra Jr.;
Hermes, Netburn, O’Connor & Spearing, P.C.;
Navistar Inc. ■ Donald A.W. Smith;
Donald A.W. Smith, P.C.;
Navistar Inc.

Defendant Expert(s):

Mary Beasley;
New York,
NY called by
Holly M. Polglase, Anthony J. Sbarra Jr., Donald A.W. Smith ■ Brent Finley;
San Francisco,
CA called by
Holly M. Polglase, Anthony J. Sbarra Jr., Donald A.W. Smith ■ Herman Gibb;
VA called by
Holly M. Polglase, Anthony J. Sbarra Jr., Donald A.W. Smith


On Sept. 9, 2011, plaintiff Lewis Nash, 80, learned that he was suffering mesothelioma, which is an aggressive, incurable cancer that can result from ingestion or inhalation of fibers of asbestos. During a period that spanned 1956 and 1992, Nash drove buses that served the Fayetteville-Manlius School District. The buses and certain parts were provided by suppliers that included Lisle, Ill.-based Navistar Inc. Nash claimed that his job’s duties necessitated a significant presence in garages in which the buses were repaired and serviced. He further claimed that his mesothelioma stems from his inhalation of fibers of asbestos that was contained in parts that were replaced and/or serviced in the garage. Nash sued Navistar and many other companies that were believed to have distributed, manufactured and/or sold asbestos-containing products that were used in the areas in which he worked. Nash alleged that the defendants failed to provide warnings that adequately disclosed the risks that could have stemmed from the use of their products. Nash died after the suit had been filed. The suit was continued by his estate. The estate’s counsel discontinued the claims against some defendants; other defendants were dismissed; and others negotiated pretrial settlements. The matter ultimately proceeded to a trial against Navistar. The estate’s counsel contended that Nash operated Navistar-provided buses whose original brakes, clutches and gaskets contained asbestos. They also claimed that worn components were replaced by other Navistar-provided products that contained asbestos. The estate’s expert scientist opined that asbestos’s fibers would have been released during normal servicing of the products, and the estate’s expert pathologist opined that Nash’s mesothelioma stemmed from Nash’s exposure to asbestos. The estate’s counsel also contended that Navistar knew that its products contained asbestos, that asbestos’s associated hazards were widely known during the contemporary period and that Navistar failed to provide warnings that disclosed the hazards that could have stemmed from their products’ asbestos. Defense counsel claimed that Navistar’s products contained chrysotile asbestos, and they contended that chrysotile asbestos cannot cause mesothelioma. They also claimed that the products’ asbestos was encapsulated, and they contended that encapsulated asbestos would not have been emitted during routine use of the products. They suggested that Nash’s mesothelioma stemmed from Nash having worked in foundries in which workers handled products that contained amphibole asbestos, which is one of the more dangerous forms of asbestos. However, the estate’s counsel contended that defense counsel could not prove that asbestos was handled or used in the foundries in which Nash worked.


On Sept. 9, 2011, Nash learned that he was suffering mesothelioma. Nash claimed that the disease’s effects included fatigue, impairment of his respiration and pain that stemmed from his chest. Nash underwent several months of chemotherapy, but his condition deteriorated. He experienced a severe reduction of his weight; his fatigue worsened; and he became weak. He died on Sept. 20, 2012. Nash, 81, was survived by his wife and five children. Nash’s estate sought recovery of wrongful-death damages that included economic damages, $3 million for Nash’s anguish, and $3 million for Nash’s pain and suffering. Nash’s widow, Mary Nash, sought recovery of damages for loss of consortium.


The jury found that Navistar was liable for Mr. Nash’s mesothelioma. It determined that the plaintiffs’ damages totaled $7.7 million.

Estate of Lewis Nash: $3,000,000 Wrongful Death: Survival; $3,000,000 Wrongful Death: Past Mental Anguish; $1,500,000 Wrongful Death: pecuniary loss; Mary Nash: $200,000 Wrongful Death: loss of consortium

Trial Information:


Charles C. Merrell

Trial Length:


Trial Deliberations:


Jury Composition:

1 male/ 5 female

Editor’s Comment:

This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs’ counsel and Navistar’s counsel. The remaining defendants’ counsel was not asked to contribute.