A New Jersey federal judge rejected Pneumo Abex LLC’s argument that it should be let out of a former U.S. airman’s mesothelioma lawsuit because less than 1% of its business is in the Garden State, where the serviceman asserts the company designed aircraft parts that exposed him to asbestos.
U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp said that before he could decide if the court has jurisdiction over Pneumo Abex, the successor to Abex Inc., he wanted to know if the company’s facility in northern New Jersey had any part in creating the components that allegedly exposed Paul Klick III to asbestos during his roughly four years in the U.S. Air Force.
Judge Shipp ordered limited discovery into the company’s facility in Mahwah over the next 45 days to determine if there is a connection between products developed there and parts used by the Air Force during Klick’s enlistment.
Klick and his wife, Julie, filed suit in fall 2020, claiming a number of companies exposed him to asbestos and caused his incurable lung cancer, including defense contractor Boeing Co. The Klicks’ lawsuit also asserted a claim unrelated to his Air Force enlistment and cited pharmaceutical makers like Johnson & Johnson for his alleged exposure to asbestos in its talcum powder.
Klick claims he inhaled the toxic dust during his military service while working around Boeing-made B-52G bombers and KC-135A refueling planes, which had asbestos-laden brakes manufactured by Abex Inc. Klick’s asbestos exposure happened on an Air Force base in Maine.
Pneumo Abex has been the subject of several multimillion-dollar asbestos-related lawsuits.