Auto Parts Retailer Fails in Attempt to Dismiss Mesothelioma Claim

Published on November 10, 2022

Can a retail operation that sold asbestos-contaminated parts be held responsible for a customer’s mesothelioma? The family of Gail Chandler is exploring that question. They won a recent court decision that allowed their case against Parts Warehouse and its alternate entity Lamus-Lundlee to move forward. 

Mesothelioma Victim’s Family Seeks Justice After Asbestos Exposure

Gail “Butch” Chandler died of malignant mesothelioma after a brief, four-month battle with malignant mesothelioma. His widow Evelyn is pursuing justice on his behalf, and filed claims against multiple defendants that she accuses of negligently exposing him to the asbestos that led to him developing the rare form of cancer. Among those named in her lawsuit was Parts Warehouse/Lamus-Lundlee, a company that sold her husband, owner of G. Chandler Automotive, auto parts.

Parts Warehouse filed a motion asking for the mesothelioma victim’s family’s lawsuit to be dismissed. The basis for their petition was that the only specific evidence that the family provided of him having purchased parts from them was a single non-asbestos-containing clutch. They argued that this meant that the family had failed to establish the essential element for an asbestos claim, that of product identification. 

Court Rejects Motion to Dismiss Mesothelioma Claim

In reviewing Parts Warehouse’s argument, the Superior Court of California of Sacramento County noted testimony by the company’s witness confirming that he had no memory of Chandler purchasing parts, and that the part they referenced in their motion did not contain asbestos. That witness also made statements denying whether his employer would have sourced any parts elsewhere. But the court agreed with the family that the witness’ testimony neglected years when the victim would have purchased the parts, which was also when the older version of the parts contained asbestos. Additionally, Parts Warehouse failed to address other asbestos-containing parts that the family claimed Mr. Chandler had purchased and been exposed to.

In its ruling, the court wrote, “This is not a case where a single asbestos-containing part was purchased from an unidentified supplier. Rather… Decedent used multiple brands, at least some of which were obtained through Lamus-Lundlee. Combined with evidence that all of the brands contained asbestos, this testimony may be sufficient to support a finding that Decedent was more likely than not exposed to asbestos-containing parts sold by Lamus-Lundlee.”

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, the first step to justice is identifying the source of their asbestos exposure. For help with that and all other steps, contact the Patient Advocates at today at 1-800-692-8608.

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Written by Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

Learn more about and contact Terri