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Dafler v. Raymark Industries, Inc.

259 N.J. Super. 17, 611 A.2d 136 (1992)

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Dafler v. Raymark Industries, Inc.

New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division

259 N.J. Super. 17, 611 A.2d 136 (1992)

Facts

Dafler (plaintiff) brought suit against several manufacturers, including Keene Corporation (Keene) (defendant), alleging that he developed asbestosis and lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos during his employment at the New York Shipyard. Dafler admitted that he had smoked cigarettes for almost 45 years until he was diagnosed with asbestosis. Dafler presented two medical experts who testified that the relationship between cigarette smoking and asbestos exposure is synergistic and that Dafler’s lung cancer was caused by the interaction of the two. The doctors testified as to the risk of developing lung cancer from cigarette smoking, industrial exposure to asbestos, and a combination of the two. Keene presented a medical expert, who testified that Dafler’s lung cancer was completely caused by smoking. None of the doctors spoke to apportionment. The jury apportioned the damages for Dafler’s lung cancer by determining that cigarette smoking was responsible for two-thirds of the lung cancer and the asbestos exposure was responsible for the other third. Both Dafler and Keene appealed. Dafler argued that there was insufficient evidence to allow the jury to apportion damages for his lung cancer and that Keene did not show a reasonable basis for apportionment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (King, J.)

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