McGivney & Kluger, P.C. Partner, Eric Gernant recently obtained summary judgment in Steele v. Quad Graphics, Inc.  The plaintiff in this case alleged he developed end stage renal disease from exposure to toluene from shop towels used to clean printing presses. Quad Graphics, one of the world’s largest printing press companies, hired plaintiff’s employer to launder these shop towels.  The Court originally granted a motion to exclude three of the four experts plaintiffs were relying on but refused to grant summary judgment.   The plaintiff was permitted to maintain the last count of the complaint for negligence even though both safety experts were excluded.  The decision can be found at Steele v. Aramark Corp., et al, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43429 (D.N.J. 2012).
Not satisfied with the Court’s refusal to dismiss the case, a motion for reconsideration was filed.  Mr. Gernant argued that under New Jersey law a toxic tort case could not go to a jury without expert evidence that the plaintiff was exposed to levels of toluene above normal background levels.   The Court agreed and reversed its initial decision.  Without an expert testifying as to plaintiff’s level of exposure, plaintiff could not prove Quad Graphics was negligent.  Consequently, summary judgment was entered for Quad Graphics.  This decision can be found at Steele v. Aramark Corp., et al., 2012 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 132206 (D.N.J. 2012).