Widow Alleges Non Line of Duty Asbestos Exposure Killed NY Firefighter

The widow of a retired firefighter has filed a second lawsuit over his death claiming it was related to exposure to asbestos. The kicker… she is claiming that the exposure occurred while he was working for a plumbing company, not as a firefighter.

Joseph Jaworski was a firefighter for 30 years for Amsterdam, New York before retiring in 1976. He also worked for A. Mormile Plumbing & Heating of Amsterdam.  Jaworski died in 2011 of mesothelioma, a type of cancer directly linked to asbestos. He was 83.

Jaworski’s widow, Josephine, filed the first suit back in 2011 naming more than 100 asbestos manufacturers and distributors as defendants. That suit was disposed of prior to trial, although the details are not known. The second suit was filed 2 weeks ago in state Supreme Court naming A. Mormile Plumbing & Heating. The suit alleges wrongful death, negligence and loss of consortium.

Part of the problem is that virtually all asbestos manufacturers and most potential targets of asbestos litigation have either gone out of business or been reorganized through bankruptcy.  In either event, relatively few can be held liable.

According to the Leader-Herald, one of the owners of A. Mormile, James Mormile, told reporters that Jaworski had to have worked for a predecessor of A. Mormile, which was created in 1985. That will likely be the company’s defense

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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