The case of Ralph P. North v. National Grid Generation LLC., et al. brought before the New York State Supreme Court is a good example of when a contractor may claim against a client for personal injuries. North worked as a contractor on the construction site of the Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) power station in Long island between 1966 and 1972. North found out about his mesothelioma from asbestos exposure while working on the LILCO site many years after, and sued its successor National Grid Generation LLC (National Grid) for past and future pain and suffering.

North claimed that asbestos was routinely used in the cement mix, boilers and pipes, and that his exposure was primarily from the asbestos dust resulting from preparing and using the toxic mineral on the site. He further claimed that at the time, he was not aware of the dangers of asbestos exposure. National Grid contended that because North was a contactor and not an employee, they had no control over how the contractor performed their work. The attorney for the plaintiff argued that since the defendant provided precise instructions over the use of asbestos in the construction, the defendant exercised significant control over the contractor’s work.

The lawsuit proceeded to trial, and on September 29, 2014, the jury agreed with the plaintiff that he should be compensation, and proceeded to award him $7 million for past and future pain and suffering, considered the largest given in New York state for a personal injury case. National Grid is expected to appeal the verdict.

This is illustrative of the fact that if the lawyer knew the relevant federal and specific state laws pertaining to a case concerning asbestos exposure, and how the rights of the plaintiff can be protected. If you have suffered serious harm because of exposure to asbestos or other harmful substances, consult with a toxic tort lawyer if you have a viable case.

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