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Mesothelioma case involving Honeywell gets an appeal

A wrongful death lawsuit against Honeywell International Inc. will get another day in court after an appeals judge ruled sufficient evidence existed that an Ohio man who died from mesothelioma was exposed in his workplace to asbestos-containing products made by the industrial giant.

On Aug. 6, Judge Eileen A. Gallagher of the Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals reversed a 2019 summary judgment in favor of Honeywell, noting that the trial court erred. The judge wrote that reasonable grounds for appeal existed in the case, which was remanded to the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

Man exposed to Honeywell-made asbestos-containing products

The estate of James Maddy -- led by his executor and widow Barbara Maddy -- claims that he was exposed to asbestos while working as a supervisor at Flxible Bus Co. from 1980 to 1996 in Loudonville, Ohio. Flxible was the maker of metro buses. Maddy’s estate claims that the asbestos exposure came from Bendix brake linings made, sold, distributed or installed by Honeywell.

The exposure occurred when the products were “drilled, ground and chiseled into dust” when removed and then replaced with new Bendix brake linings containing asbestos. Maddy died in May 2014 at age 70 from respiratory failure due to mesothelioma, a month after his diagnosis of the disease.

Maddy’s family filed the wrongful death lawsuit in June 2017 against Honeywell in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in Cleveland. However, in May 2019, the trial court entered summary judgment in favor of Honeywell. That court cited evidence that did not support Ms. Maddy’s claims, including that Bendix was the lone brand of brake lining used in a return/exchange program at the plant or that any Bendix brakes sent to the Ohio plant contained asbestos.

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