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Mauro v. Raymark Industries, Inc.

Supreme Court of New Jersey
561 A.2d 257 (1989)


Roger Mauro participated in tests conducted by the New Jersey Department of Health to determine the prevalence of asbestos-related disease among plumbers and steamfitters in state institutions. During this time, Mauro was informed by a physician that he had bilateral thickening of both chest walls and calcification of the diaphragm. The physician told Mauro that his exposure to asbestos had been “significant” and that there was evidence that this exposure may increase his risk of developing lung cancer. Mauro was very upset upon hearing the news and subsequently consulted a pulmonary specialist every six months to find out if and when he was going to get cancer. Mauro and his wife Lois (plaintiffs) brought suit against Raymark Industries, Inc. (Raymark) (defendant) and other manufacturers of asbestos products for future damages related to his contracting cancer. The trial court instructed the jury that there was no evidence at that time to suggest that Mauro would absolutely get cancer and that they could not award damages for the future, enhanced risk of developing cancer. The trial court did permit the jury to consider Mauro’s claims for damages caused by emotional distress related to his fear of developing cancer and for damages caused by his present medical condition and the cost for future medical surveillance. The jury awarded Mauro $7,500 and he appealed. The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s judgment. Mauro appealed to the state’s supreme court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stein, J.)

Dissent (Handler, J.)

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