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World Trade Center Work Cited in Mesothelioma Lawsuit

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Published on August 29, 2022

A man stricken with malignant mesothelioma has filed a personal injury lawsuit against the company that applied asbestos to New York’s iconic World Trade Center.  William Theophil has accused Arconic, Inc., formerly known as Aluminum Company of America, or ALCOA, of negligence in its application of fireproofing spray in Tower A while he was working there as a steamfitter and a member of the union. 

Asbestos-Contaminated Fireproofing Spray Blamed for Mesothelioma

According to mesothelioma victim William Theophil’s lawsuit, he worked at the World Trade Center for approximately three months in the late 1960s when the towers were being built. He claims that he was exposed to asbestos while working on the 7th floor of Tower A, citing a fireproofing spray for which ALCOA was responsible. He testified that he was within proximity of the employees tasked with spraying the carcinogenic material used for the fireproofing of its curtain wall, and that he had inhaled the contaminated spray.

ALCOA is one of many defendants that have been named in Mr. Theophil’s mesothelioma lawsuit, and the company has filed to have the case against it dismissed. The company argues that the spray insulation was performed by a separate party that contracted with the Port Authority and that therefore they had no duty to Mr. Theophil.

Asbestos Company Argues that Mesothelioma Victim Was Not Close Enough to Spraying to Have Caused Illness

In response to Mr. Theophil’s claim, ALCOA filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that by his own testimony he worked in an interior section of the building, making it impossible for him to have been exposed to enough asbestos to have raised his risk for mesothelioma. The court rejected this as reason to dismiss the case, noting that there is long-standing precedent to give the victim “the benefit of every favorable inference which can be drawn from the evidence.”

Because the mesothelioma victim testified that he had been in the presence of sprayers, as well as that ALCOA controlled the way in which the spray was administered, the case will move on to be heard by a jury.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it is important that you have the benefit of knowledgeable and experienced resources. For information on how we can help, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.

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Written by Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer
Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

Learn more about and contact Terri

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