Mesothelioma Victim Continues Pursuit of Japanese Auto Brakes Company

Published on October 21, 2022

When George Sweikhart was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, he filed suit against several companies, which he accused of negligently exposing him to asbestos. Among them were Akebono Brake Industry Co., Ltd. and its subsidiary Akebono Brake Corporation (ABC), whose asbestos-contaminated brakes he had worked with throughout his career. Since its naming, the company has made multiple attempts to get its claims dismissed. Earlier this month, the Superior Court of California denied her motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction in the state of California.

braking work

Brake Company repeatedly attempts to dismiss the mesothelioma claim

Akebono has repeatedly tried to have Mr Sweikhart’s mesothelioma lawsuit against her dismissed. In January, a court rejected their argument that, as a Japanese company, they could not be served legal documents. After that argument was dismissed because the company had set up an office in Los Angeles, Akedbono filed a second summary judgment motion. This time they argued that the court did not have jurisdiction over them because they had no significant “contacts, ties or relationships” with the state.

The testimony of the mesothelioma victim showed that he had used Akebono parts for brake and clutch work when he worked for a California Datsun/Nissan dealership from 1969 to 1985 and then from 1986 to 1997 and again from 1998 to 2000. In its filing, Akebono argued that the California court did not have jurisdiction because there was “no evidence that it ever ‘willfully caused’ or ‘willfully directed’ its Japanese or US affiliates to establish contacts with California.” . They argued that simply placing a product on the flow of trade is not sufficient to establish personal jurisdiction.

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Court denies attempt by brake manufacturer to evade mesothelioma liability

The California Supreme Court dismissed Akebono’s attempt to avoid liability in the mesothelioma lawsuit, finding that the company had sold hundreds of thousands of brake shoes, pads and other products to a California company called the European Parts Exchange. It also pointed out that the company formed its subsidiary ABC in 1980 and registered its brakes with the state of California to comply with state regulations. Akebono had removed materials and stripped them of copper to comply with regulations.

When the case was admitted, the court said the mesothelioma victim had “presented sufficient evidence that Akebono was intentionally claiming the benefits of the California forum at the time George Sweikhart testified that he was using Akebono parts in California.” took” and that the evidence showed that they used those parts, that they exposed him to asbestos and that they caused his illness. The case will be presented to a jury.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, the company responsible for your exposure will likely seek to evade responsibility. The patient advocates at are here to help. Call us today at 1-800-692-8608.

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Written by Terri Oppenheimer

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

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