In Re: World Trade Center Lower Manhattan Disaster Site Litig., No. 12-3403 (2d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, cleaning workers who purportedly were exposed to toxic contaminants while working in buildings on the periphery of the World Trade Center site following the September 11, 2001, attacks, filed suit against defendants, owners of various buildings in lower Manhattan that were damaged or destroyed in the attacks. At issue on appeal are two district court orders: 1) the district court's grant of summary judgment dismissing the claims of 211 plaintiffs who answered "none" to an interrogatory asking plaintiffs to identify "diagnosed" conditions, injuries, and diseases for which they were seeking recovery; and 2) the district court's dismissal of the claims of another 31 plaintiffs for failure to prosecute because they did not certify their interrogatory responses by a court ordered deadline. The court concluded that the district court erred in granting summary judgment to plaintiffs based solely on their answer "none" to the "diagnosed" condition interrogatory without considering the record as a whole. However, the district court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the claims of the 31 plaintiffs for failure to prosecute. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded.