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March 19th, 2015

NYCAL Judge Heitler’s ‘March Madness’

On March 18, NYCAL Judge Sherry Klein Heitler denied defendant Pneumo Abex LLC’s motion for summary judgment in a mesothelioma wrongful death action. Judge Heitler’s denial followed at least 26 months of discovery and five depositions of the plaintiff-decedent and her two sons, all of which failed to identify the source of car parts-related asbestos dust to which she was allegedly exposed.

In denying the motion, Judge Heitler called it a “drastic remedy” and, in doing so, relied primarily on the testimony of another car parts company witness given in an unrelated case . . . in Maryland . . . in 2001.  Talk about bending over backwards to make plaintiffs’ lawyers happy.

If 14 year old testimony from an unrelated case in a completely different state is not enough to raise a red flag about Judge Heitler’s brazen bias and lack of fitness for the bench, what is?  Abex had brought the Maryland case to her attention since it clearly shows that other car part manufactures produced similar products containing asbestos, and that a highly fractured supply chain for a singly-branded product — NAPA brakes — could not be tracked with any precision.

So, if after 26 months of discovery and several depositions, the origin of the car parts in question cannot be identified with any reasonable degree of certainty, then summary judgment is not a “drastic remedy,” Judge Heitler, it’s the only appropriate remedy.

How can New York State let such a corrupted and unfit judge have anything to do with the fate of litigants, especially considering that she is principally responsible for NYCAL’s current ranking as the nation’s #1 Judicial Hellhole?

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