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According to a recent news article from the National Law Review, the court of appeals in New York has ruled on a defendant’s duty to warn a potential plaintiff of the dangers of asbestos exposure.  Specially, the question is whether the manufacturer of a non-asbestos product has a duty to warn others of the dangers of asbestos exposure because their product contains a third-party’s part, and that part contains asbestos.

gavel21While this seems rather complex, it makes more sense when we take a look at some of the facts of the case.  In that case, plaintiff worked on boilers as a technician for the United States Navy for all of the 1960s and most of the 1970s.  In his complaint, plaintiff alleged that he was exposed to deadly asbestos fibers as result of working around insulation on high heat steam valves on the boilers on which he worked.  He was suing, among others, the company that manufactured these valves.  Continue reading →

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Certain parts of the country have been ravaged by years of unregulated industry, and the asbestos industry was responsible for much of this environmental destruction.  To help clean up these toxic waste zones, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the power to use money provided by Congress to create what are known as EPA superfunds.

oldfactoryOne such fund is the Suburbs of Philadelphia as discussed in a recent news feature from E&E Publishing.  Most people are aware the United States was for many years the world’s largest producer of asbestos and asbestos products.

For many years, Philadelphia housed one of the world’s largest asbestos factories.  The factory, which started as a boiler plant (boilers used asbestos insulation for many years), still has hundred foot mountains of asbestos and manufacturing waste that surround the area and look like salt and gravel piles we typically see on the side of a highway covered with large domes. Continue reading →

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R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Stidham involved plaintiffs who were diagnosed with lung cancer that attempted to join a single lawsuit against the tobacco companies and the producers of asbestos and asbestos products. These plaintiffs asserted that their cancers were the result of both exposures to deadly asbestos fibers as well from years of tobacco smoking.

cigarette-1478450This is not the first time that plaintiffs sued both the cigarette manufacturers and the asbestos companies together, but in this case, there were procedural challenges.  In this jurisdiction, asbestos cases are tried on a special asbestos docket. Continue reading →

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As you may have heard, last month President Barack Obama signed a bill into law that allows the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to more easily ban toxic substances, including deadly asbestos fibers. This bill was one of the few bills in recent history that received bipartisan support.

lungsWhile many people think asbestos was banned in the late 1970s, what they may not realize is that the EPA’s ban was overturned a few years later by the U.S. Supreme Court on grounds that this type of ban could not be accomplished exclusively by an executive agency without the support of Congress.  This is not to say that it was unconstitutional to ban asbestos, but rather the way in which it was done was the problem. Continue reading →

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In Scapa Dryer Fabrics, Inc. v. Knight, a case from the Supreme Court of Georgia, defendant was a textile maker that produced a product known as dryer felts.  These are the felt liners that are placed on the doors or door opening of clothes dryers to keep the heat inside thasbestose machine when they are operating. They made these dryer felts during the 1970s at one of their factories.

According to court documents, plaintiff worked at this factory from the late 1960s through the early to mid 1970s, and this factory contained boilers and pipes that were lined with asbestos insulation.  Asbestos yarn was also used in the manufacture of some of its products, including the dyer felt. Continue reading →

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There is no question that being diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma is about one of the worst things a patient can hear.  For the vast majority of patients, they have very little time to left to live, so it is basically the same as receiving a death sentence.  In most cases, the patient will not survive for more than a period of three years following an initial diagnosis.

senateThe reason for this is because once a person begins to suffer the symptoms – shortness of breath, chest pain, stomach pain, or any of the others = the malignant mesothelioma is normally in a very advanced stage.  Continue reading →

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Despite a ruling by the California Supreme Court in favor of defendant in Webb v. Special Electric, the case was still ultimately decided in favor of plaintiff upon remand. gavel21

The state high court’s ruling in this asbestos injury lawsuit involved something called the “sophisticated intermediary doctrine.” This ruling provided an additional viable defense for defendants in product liability lawsuits, such as those filed against makers and distributors of products that contained toxic asbestos.

Even so, plaintiff in the case prevailed.  Continue reading →

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We know that manufacturers of products sold in the U.S have a duty to warn consumers of potential risks. This is certainly true with makers of asbestos-laden products, particularly where users are at risk of exposure to deadly asbestos fibers or dust, which are toxic when breathed in. valve

But what duty do makers of non-asbestos products have to warn when there are asbestos-containing parts that are made by a third party but used in its non-asbestos product?

Recently, the New York Court of Appeals – the highest court in that state – took on this issue in Dummitt v. Crane Co. Continue reading →

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Two multi-million dollar verdicts by separate juries in two asbestos injury cases in New York resulted in damages collectively totaling $28 million, to be paid by boilermaker Burnham.boiler1

According to Legal Newline, one case resulted in the estate of one man receiving a $6.25 million victory in mid-June, while a second case awarded a man suffering from mesothelioma $22 million.

In both cases, plaintiffs allege they were exposed to deadly asbestos fibers after coming in contact with boilers made by Burnham.  Continue reading →

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Most people have heard of Warren Zevon, or at the very least heard some of his songs. Some of his more famous songs included “Werewolves of London,” “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” and, “Poor Poor Pitiful Me.”  Many are aware that he died in 2003 from cancer, but it is not well known that he died of mesothelioma. He was only 58 years old when he died of malignant mesothelioma.  His death also occurred a time in his life when he had decided to give up most his bad habits and live a healthy life. His son said he was living healthy and even taking dancing lessons when he first noticed the symptoms that would ultimately lead to his diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma.

shotThese days, Zevon’s son is taking up the fight to make people aware of the deadly disease of mesothelioma and raise money to find a cure.  There are treatments, but they basically require very invasive surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and, even in the best case scenario, will normally only extend a patient’s life for a short period of time, but there is nothing close to the success rate we see with the treatment of other types of cancer. Continue reading →