California : "take-home" liability extends to workers’ households

December 06, 2016 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Kesner v. Superior Court and Haver v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad are consolidated cases resulting in a single decision by the California Supreme Court holding that California tort law recognizes “take-home” liability in asbestos cases. “Take-home” cases arise when an employee worked with asbestos on the job 30-50 ...


New York high court expands the duty to warn

July 01, 2016 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Ronald Dummitt worked aboard Navy ships in the boiler rooms for two decades, during which time he was exposed to asbestos dust during the maintenance of valves and gaskets, some of which were insulated with asbestos-containing materials. Crane Co. manufactured some of the valves on which Dummit worked, none of which containing any asbestos whatsoev ...


California adopts sophisticated intermediary doctrine

May 23, 2016 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Special Electric Co. brokered the sale of raw asbestos from a mine in South Africa to Johns-Manville, which incorporated it into Transite pipe sold to Familian, a pipe supply company, that sold it to Pyramid Pipe & Supply, William Webb’s employer. As a broker, Special Electric never had possession of the raw asbestos. Webb worked … ...


Florida Supreme Court “splits the baby” in products liability decision

October 29, 2015 | By CHRISTINA MARTIN

Today, the Florida Supreme Court issued its opinion in Aubin v. Union Carbide, a case that recognizes limits to manufacturers’ liability. William Aubin brought the lawsuit after he contracted mesothelioma in 2008, allegedly from working with asbestos-containing joint compound and texture sprays produced by Georgia Pacific, and provided by Aub ...


Missed opportunity : California Supreme Court refuses to hear “adjacent liability” case

October 01, 2015 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court denied the petition for review in Sherman v. Hennessy Industries, in which the California Court of Appeal held that the manufacturer of a safe product can be liable for injuries caused by unsafe products used with the safe product.  PLF had urged the Court to accept the case. The court … ...


Extending tort liability on the basis of indirect economic benefit

September 03, 2015 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

In Sherman v. Hennessy Industries, the California Court of Appeal held that the manufacturer of an “arcing machine”—essentially a highly calibrated saw used to customize brake linings—is liable for injuries caused by asbestos dust released by certain brake linings even though the machine itself contains no asbestos. The decision cre ...


How far does “premises liability” extend off the premises?

March 18, 2015 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Lynne Haver claimed that she contracted mesothelioma as a result of coming into contact with her husband Mike’s clothing (when she did the laundry), tools, vehicles and general surroundings in the 1970’s while Mike was employed by the Santa Fe Railroad (now BNSF Railway). Subsequently, her heirs sued BNSF claiming that, because it owned ...


President’s weekly report — March 13, 2015

March 13, 2015 | By ROB RIVETT

Property Rights — Coastal project victory We had another fine preliminary victory against the California Coastal Commission in Beach & Bluff Conservancy v. City of Solana Beach and California Coastal Commission.  Here, we are challenging a local coastal plan adopted by the City of Solana Beach — after it was largely rewritten by ...


Will the California Supreme Court expand asbestos take-home liability?

March 10, 2015 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Johnny Kesner was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2011.  Because this is an asbestos-related illness, he cast a wide net and sued 19 companies, most of whom were Kesner’s former employers where Kesner was exposed to asbestos on the premises, but also including Pneumo Abex Co., which employed his uncle.  Kesner claims that his uncle left  ...