Claim Accrues Upon Learning of Asbestos-Related Disease, Not Symptoms Manifesting

Supreme Court of New York, New York County, March 14, 2022

In this matter, plaintiff Dominic Baldi worked as an electrician in public schools and was exposed to asbestos throughout his career. The plaintiff filed the Notice of Claim on April 10, 2020, putting the defendant, Amityville Union Free School District, on notice of this matter. Subsequently, the plaintiff filed the instant order to show cause on August 23, 2021, to serve a late Notice of Claim upon Amityville.

Amityville argues that, in a case such as this, the statute of limitations clock begins running when symptoms manifest. The plaintiff contends that the accrual date was November 6, 2019, when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. The court considered Wetherill v. Eli Lilly & Co., 89 N.Y.2d 506, 513, 678 N.E.2d 474, 655 N.Y.S.2d 862 (1997), and held that, consistent with that matter, Baldi’s claim accrued when he obtained some knowledge of “the primary conditions that form the basis of the plaintiff’s claim.” Id. at 514. In the matter at hand, the discovery of the cause of his injury occurred at the time of diagnoses, as this was the first time he learned that he had an asbestos-related disease. Therefore, the court held that the Notice of Claim was timely served, that the plaintiff’s order to show cause is granted, and that, as the plaintiff’s order to show cause is granted, the defendant’s cross-motion to dismiss the complaint is denied.

Read the full decision here.