Asbestos Law- Mesothelioma Lawsuits for Second Hand Exposure

Mesothelioma Lawsuits – Take Home Asbestos Exposure Lawsuits

A new breed of asbestos lawsuits has been hitting the courts in which plaintiffs are suing employers over secondhand exposure to chemicals brought into the home on clothing. These so-called ‘take-home’ asbestos lawsuits, however, are getting mixed reviews from judges. In Washington, a state court of appeals ruled on Aug. 27 that families of workers who inadvertently bring asbestos home on clothes may now file their own claims against the employer, paving the way for potentially hundreds of plaintiffs to hold employers liable for asbestos-related illnesses. Rochon v. SaberHagen Holdings Inc., No. 58579-7-I (Wash. Ct. App.). In Louisiana, an appellate court in December affirmed a $3 million trial verdict awarded to a man whose wife died from mesothelioma after repeated exposure to his work clothes. Chaisson v. Avondale Indus. Inc., 947 So. 2d 171, 183 (La. Ct. App.). In New Jersey, the state Supreme Court ruled early last year that a company can be liable for a person's secondhand exposure to asbestos chemicals. The case involved a husband who was exposed to asbestos at work, and alleged that his wife died of mesothelioma after years of washing his clothes.

Asbestos Affects an Entire Town

A federal appeals court yesterday dealt a substantial blow to Columbia chemical maker W.R. Grace, reviving conspiracy and environmental charges against the company for operating an asbestos-laden mine. Prosecutors accuse Grace of knowingly endangering residents of Libby, Mont., for nearly three decades by exposing them to asbestos fibers. Environmental studies suggest that the death rate from asbestos-related disease in the mountain-enclosed valley is more than 40 times the national average.Last year, a federal judge threw out several charges and excluded evidence critical to the government's case after defense lawyers argued that prosecutors had waited too long to file criminal charges. Yesterday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reinstated many of the claims against Grace and a half-dozen former executives, a move that exposes the company to tens of millions of dollars in fines. The appeals court ruled that deputies for U.S. Attorney William W. Mercer had acted quickly to fix the statute-of-limitations problem.

Olivo v. Owens-Illinois Inc., No.a-23-05 (N.J.)



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