Archives: Asbestos

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California Adopts Sophisticated Intermediary Doctrine

In Webb v Special Electric Company, Inc., the Supreme Court unanimously adopted the sophisticated intermediary doctrine in California, and then split 5-2 on how it should be applied. Webb was injured by exposure to products containing asbestos and sued the raw asbestos supplier – raising the question of what duty the raw material supplier had … Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Makes a Surprising About-Face in Third-Party Asbestos Liability

The Supreme Court of Washington recently decided the case of Macias v. Saberhagen Holdings, Inc. – a decision that flows against the trend of courts ruling that manufacturers of non-asbestos containing products cannot be held liable simply because their products were used in conjunction with or in the vicinity of asbestos products manufactured by third … Continue Reading

Self-Contradictory Testimony Does Not Necessarily Create A Triable Issue of Fact Requiring Denial of Summary Judgment

It is not uncommon for a deposition witness testifying regarding critical events to make somewhat inconsistent statements under direct- and cross-examination.  For decades California trial courts have denied summary judgment motions on the ground that such inconsistencies create triable issues of fact that must be resolved by juries.  The lower courts cite two California Supreme … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Hears Argument in Pivotal Asbestos Product Liability Case

The California Supreme Court heard oral argument in O’Neil v. Crane Co. The Court’s decision will likely define an important area of strict products liability law in California – specifically, it will expand or limit the duty of product manufacturers to warn about the hazards of replacement parts made by others that are subsequently incorporated by … Continue Reading

Is an Equipment Manufacturer Liable for Injuries Caused by a Defective Replacement Part? Another California Court of Appeal Weighs in

The California Supreme Court, in O’Neil v. Crane Co., No. S177401, is considering the liability of an equipment manufacturer under these circumstances:  The manufacturer sells a product pursuant to the buyer’s specifications (say, a valve or pump) that is accompanied by an allegedly defective part (say, an asbestos-containing gasket) made by another, which is incorporated … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Provides New Guidance to Courts Making “Choice-of-Law”

Today, in a widely anticipated decision, the California Supreme Court held that California’s interest in protecting a current resident does not trump another state’s interest in having its laws applied. This occurred in the context of an asbestos case. The defendant’s conduct occurred in Oklahoma, at a time when plaintiff was present in and a … Continue Reading