The Florida Supreme Court reinstated a $6.6 million award Thursday against Union Carbide Corp. in an asbestos case that attracted high-powered amicus briefs and hinged on what attorneys saw as either a pro-consumer or pro-business test.
The court opted for a products liability test that asked whether a product performed as safely as a reasonable consumer would expect.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and others argued for a strong public policy goal of limiting the duty of upstream manufacturers and suppliers to warn end users, Frank Cruz-Alvarez of Shook, Hardy & Bacon in Miami wrote in an amicus brief.
The Florida Consumer Action Network and the Florida Justice Association, representing plaintiffs lawyers, argued in support of the Miami-Dade Circuit Court verdict.
The Supreme Court majority chose to rely on the second restatement of torts by the American Law Institute in 1965 rather than the third restatement issued in 1997 that sets a higher burden for consumers bringing products liability cases.
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