Chrysler Crashes Funeral, Snatches Body for Asbestos Lawsuit
Injuryboard.com, a website dedicated to promoting safety, protecting lives and chasing ambulances (I made that last one up, ish) writes:
The funeral of Harold St. John, a retired airline employee and former auto mechanic who died from mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure, was interrupted at a New Jersey cemetery last week when, in a new moral low for defense tactics, a Chrysler official arrived with subpoena for his body.
The subpoena, which prevented the burial from taking place, was issued so that more tests could be performed to determine the cause of death. Before he died, 67-year-old St. John had sued Chrysler, along with Honeywell, claiming that the automobile brake linings he used to install in his father’s auto shop in the 50s and 60s had caused his illness.
The trial was set to begin March 9. Unexpectedly, St. John died on February 28. Though he had undergone a painful biopsy to provide a lung tissue sample while still living, Chrysler insisted on taking the body from its burial site before it could be laid to rest.
ChryCo spokesman Mike Palesi’s statement after the jump.
“Chrysler’s sympathies are with the St. John family for their loss. Unfortunately, this process is routine in such matters in order to preserve tissue needed to establish the cause of asbestos-related disease. Chrysler acted in a timely fashion, in accordance with directions from the New Jersey Court of Appeals, and in full knowledge of the family’s attorneys. Numerous epidemiological studies have, indeed, refuted the link between automotive products and asbestos-related disease.” – WCBSTV
Very revealing that Chrysler is interested in bringing a corpse out of the grave. Perhaps this discloses an optimism about their own future.
These cases are anything but frivolous -- dying of mesothelioma is one of the most painful ways to leave this earth, and the disease is caused by asbestos. Everyone should know that the court has not said that it will order an autopsy – rather, after the trial judge denied Chrysler and Honeywell’s request for such an order on the Monday after his death, they appealed and the appellate court sent the matter back to the trial judge for a full evidentiary hearing as to whether Chrysler and Honeywell are entitled to such an examination, mainly because the defendants’ delay meant the appellate court had little to no record/facts to examine. Given that the defendants waited until he was dead to file the motion with the trial court (they did nothing until last Monday, despite what Chrysler says to the public) the appellate court heard the arguments on Wednesday and issued the order staying the burial literally in the middle of the funeral services that day. It is important to realize that Chrysler did not act "timely" as it claims – it waited until after he died to ask the court for an order compelling an autposy that it knew he would have objected to. The defendants were told weeks ago that the family would object to an autopsy on religious, moral and personal grounds – they could have and should have filed their motions with the court then. Also, this is not “routine” as Chrysler claims publicly – no defendant has ever asked a court to order an autopsy in the history of New Jersey asbestos litigation. Interestingly, although the auto folks say their products were safe when they are in a courtroom, they tell their employees and their customers that precautions must be taken during brake repair due to the hazards of asbestos dust from grinding, beveling, sanding, removal, etc. http://hazard.com/msds/gn.cgi?query=ASBESTOS&start=50&whole=partial. No one disputes the fact the Mr. St. John died of mesothelioma, and there is no factual support for the argument that he was exposed to asbestos from anything other than automotive products.
Too late for most to see this, but great post tx nyc. Chrysler's own asbestos brake pads, according to Chysler's MSDS sheet on them, states: "Routes of Entry: Inhalation:YES Skin:YES Ingestion:NO Reports of Carcinogenicity: NTP:YES IARC:YES OSHA:YES Health Hazards Acute and Chronic: ACUTE- MAY CAUSE EYE, SKIN, UPPER RESPIRATORY TRACT IRRITATION. CHRONIC- MAY CAUSE ASBESTOS, MESOTHELIOMA & LUNG CANCER. SMOKING INCREASES THE RISK OF LUNG CANCER IN ASBESTOS WORKERS. EXPOSURE TO DUSTS OF ASBESTOS MAY CAUSE PNEUMOCONIOSIS. Explanation of Carcinogenicity:ASBESTOS IS REGULATED BY OSHA AS A CARCINOGEN. Effects of Overexposure:MAY CAUSE EYE, SKIN, UPPER RESPIRATORY TRACT IRRITATION. PROLONGED AND/OR REPEATED EXPOSURE MAY CAUSE ASBESTOS, MESOTHELIOMA & LUNG CANCER. SMOKING INCREASES THE RISK OF LUNG CANCER IN ASBESTOS WORKERS. EXPOSURE TO DUSTS OF ASBESTOS MAY CAUSE PNEUMOCONIOSIS." Quite damning, looks pretty open and shut.
Just so everyone knows, during the time he worked with breaks it was the 50's and 60's. Asbestos was not regulated until the late 70's and therefore that is more than enough time for him to obtain mesothelioma caused my unregulated asbestos. He was my relative so believe me when I say the timing of the funeral was not rushed..in fact the time between his passing and the funeral service was average..not rushed. No, he did not smoke. And while working at an airline he worked in baggage..he was not working with asbestos there. About a year ago he did supply them with sufficient tissues samples. There is no reason for Chrylser to ask for more..It is hard enough to say goodbye to someone we love..imagine if you were trying to send your loved one to his/her final resting place and say goodbye only to find out that someone crashed their funeral, waited until you left, and then without telling you they would not allow them to be buried? It is not right. They do not need more tissue samples. My whole family is suffering because of chryslers disrespectful actions.