Arizona High Court to Rule on Liability in Asbestos Take Home Exposure Case

The Arizona Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether employers can be held liable to somebody who contracted cancer from asbestos brought home on a parent’s work clothes.

The case stems from the 2014 death of Dr. Ernest Quiroz, whose 2013 negligence lawsuit contends he was exposed to asbestos on his father’s work clothes.

The facts as outlined in the appeal indicate he lived with his father from 1952 to 1966, during the time his father worked at Reynolds Metal Co. Dr. Quiroz lived in California until 1976 and in Michigan until his death in 2014. The suit alleges Dr. Quiroz contracted mesothelioma as a result of the exposure to his father’s work clothes.

The suit argues that Reynolds Metal Co. was legally obligated to avoid creating hazardous conditions that would injure people off its property.

Reynolds won a pretrial ruling by a trial judge, and the Court of Appeals upheld it.

The Court of Appeals said potential drawbacks of recognizing what’s called a duty of care in so-called “take-home exposure” cases outweigh potential benefits, partly by opening the door to liability claims involving an array of hazardous materials.

Source: Arizona High Court to Rule on Liability in Asbestos Take Home Exposure Case


 Mesothelioma, Asbestos, and Legal Compensation: Basic Facts

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Whitley Bay grandad diagnosed with same asbestos-related cancer that killed his dad

A former teacher who watched his own father die of asbestos-related cancer has spoken of his devastation at finding out he has the same disease.

Adrian Starr was diagnosed with the terminal illness, mesothelioma, in October last year and says his only hope now is if medics are able to find a cure.

The 67-year-old, a dad of two and granddad of three, is a retired teacher who worked at various schools across the North East, but believes his exposure to the deadly fibres may date back as far as the 1970s when he worked for one summer at the same paper mill as his father in Kent.

Adrian, from Whitley Bay, said: “I was only there for a short period, but that is where my father was exposed to asbestos dust.

“He was a maintenance engineer and worked in dirty, dusty areas where pipes lagged with asbestos ran across the ceiling and underneath the floor.

“I worked in a different area, but I remember often having tea from a flask we’d brought from home sitting with my dad at his end of the factory.

“I don’t know whether the damage was done there or at one of the schools where I worked.”

[Article continues at original source]

Source: Whitley Bay grandad diagnosed with same asbestos-related cancer that killed his dad


 Mesothelioma, Asbestos, and Legal Compensation: Basic Facts

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Occupational Exposure To Asbestos Dust Or Secondhand Household Exposure Can Result In Mesothelioma Years Later

Over at our website we have a list of questions about job sites or work places where workers were likely to have had direct exposure to asbestos dust if they worked there before the mid-1970’s. See: “Brief Test For Asbestos Exposure Based On Worker’s Employment History”.

In turn, those workers may be at an increased risk of getting an asbestos disease such as asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma later in life.

In addition, family members of those people who worked around asbestos on the job site or in the work place may have had so-called “secondhand” asbestos exposure. This could come from household activities such as washing the worker’s clothing or, even more unexpectedly, from simply giving a welcome-home hug daily upon the worker getting back to the house each day. See: “How Members Of Worker’s Family Have Been Exposed To Asbestos And Developed Mesothelioma Many Years Later”.

This more limited exposure to asbestos dust may put these family members at an increased risk of getting mesothelioma later in life.

The bottom line is that the risk of developing mesothelioma increases with heavier asbestos exposure. However, there have been cases of individuals with relatively minimal asbestos dust exposure many years ago later developing mesothelioma, such as the family members of asbestos workers.

 Mesothelioma, Asbestos, and Legal Compensation: Basic Facts

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Mesothelioma Asbestos Cancer Cases Are Not Limited To Working Men Only, As Is Sometimes Thought To Be The Situation

Although it is out of the United Kingdom, this October 30, 2014 news article, “Asbestos legacy: The families fighting for compensation”, is instructive to people in the US insofar that it provides insight as to the various difficulties in getting legal compensation for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

Moreover, this BBC Scotland report also demonstrates that mesothelioma asbestos cancer cases are not limited to working men, as is sometimes thought to be the situation among those with no personal experience.

Consider the story of Mary Campbell, for example:

Mary Campbell, 76, is far from the stereotype of someone with terminal cancer…

Two years ago, she was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive form of incurable lung cancer almost always caused by asbestos exposure. She describes herself as feeling “absolutely gobsmacked”.

She is one of a growing group of women diagnosed with the disease. Mary’s ex-husband was an electrician in Ninewells, where asbestos was commonly used. Every day she used to wash his overalls after work.

And then there is the tragic story of Francis Hamilton:

Frances Hamilton died of mesothelioma in 2014 – the same disease that killed her mother 28 years before….

She said she was 15 when she started helping her mother at work…

“It was extremely dusty work,” said Frances in her legal statement. “I distinctly remember my arms and hands being itchy with the sharp fibres caused from the asbestos being in my skin.”

Frances said her mother, Lizzie McLellan, worked on boiler covers for steam locomotive engines, and that Lizzie had to sew “huge asbestos mats” together.

Unfortunately, here in the US, too, there are stories like these two which involve women exposed to asbestos years ago later developing malignant mesothelioma.

 Mesothelioma, Asbestos, and Legal Compensation: Basic Facts

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The “Every Exposure” Theory As Used By Plaintiff’s Expert In Dixon v. Ford Motor Asbestos-Mesothelioma Case Is Approved By Maryland Supreme Court

Recently, the Maryland Supreme Court ruled that an expert may testify that “every exposure to asbestos is a substantial contributing cause” of mesothelioma in Dixon v. Ford Motor Co., 433 Md. 137 (2013).

At the trial of this Dixon lawsuit it was alleged that a woman who died of malignant mesothelioma was exposed to asbestos by two means, one direct and one indirect (or so-called “secondhand exposure”). First, the plaintiff claimed that the decedent’s husband used a drywall joint compound allegedly manufactured by Georgia-Pacific in a repair project at their home. In addition, plaintiff contended that the husband, an automobile mechanic, brought asbestos-laden dust home with him on his clothes, which the wife laundered, after working almost exclusively on Ford automotive brakes for many years.

During this Maryland asbestos-mesothelioma trial the jury heard plaintiff’s expert testify to the effect that, even though the deceased wife may have been exposed to asbestos from a drywall joint compound during her husband’s home repair project, it was the Ford brake dust that he brought home on his clothes and which the wife washed that was a cause of her asbestos-related cancer, also, because “every exposure to asbestos is a substantial contributing cause” of mesothelioma.

On the initial appeal, this “every exposure” theory was rejected by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, which vacated a $3 million judgment awarded to the plaintiff. Essentially, this first appellate court concluded that plaintiff’s expert failed to quantify the probability of causation or provide a meaningful assessment of the risk imparted by the exposure at issue. Dixon v. Ford Motor Co., No. 536 (Md. Ct. Spec. App., June 29, 2012)

Next, the Maryland Court of Appeals reversed the Maryland Court of Special Appeals court, holding that this first appellate court had improperly ignored the context within which the plaintiff’s expert had provided the “every exposure” testimony. In more detail, this expert’s opinion was based on evidence that asbestos dust was brought into the home by the husband twice a week for 13 years, and that the repeated exposure was “high-intensity” because asbestos fibers would remain in the home for an extended period.

Lastly — recognizing that with this factual background and context, in fact, the expert’s causation testimony was not a “novel”, or unreliable scientific theory that should be disregarded — the Maryland Supreme Court ruled that the “every exposure to asbestos is a substantial contributing cause” theory can be used by an expert in an asbestos-mesothelioma lawsuit such as the Dixon case in Maryland.

 Mesothelioma, Asbestos, and Legal Compensation: Basic Facts

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Secondhand Asbestos Exposure, Or Household / Indirect Exposure To Asbestos, Might Give Rise To An Asbestos Lawsuit For Legal Compensation

Family members of workers who worked with or around asbestos-containing products may have had so-called secondhand asbestos exposure — also called household or indirect exposure to asbestos dust.  For example:

  • A wife washing the asbestos worker’s dusty clothing; or, even more unexpectedly,
  • The children giving a welcome-home hug each day to their father while he was still in his work clothes laden with asbestos dust.

Often times it can be determined how the asbestos exposure during childhood happened and, in turn, an asbestos lawsuit for legal compensation can be filed on behalf of the mesothelioma victim or her surviving family.

The primary issue in secondary exposure asbsestos-mesothelioma lawsuits is whether there was a legal duty to warn going from the asbestos worker’s employer to the secondarily exposed person, such as the worker’s wife, in the state(s) where the person had household or indirect exposures to asbestos dust.

As of October 2012, 16 states have court decisions addressing this basic legal liability issue in asbestos-mesothelioma secondary exposure lawsuits.

The following states permit secondary exposure claims:  Illinois; New Jersey; Louisiana; Tennessee; California; and, Washington.

And these states do not allow these types of asbestos-mesothelioma lawsuits: Delaware; Ohio; Kansas; Iowa; Kentucky; Michigan; Texas; New York; Georgia; and, Maryland.

The remaining 34 U.S. states have not had a final court ruling, yet, about whether a person diagnosed with mesothelioma can file a secondhand asbestos lawsuit and hold an employer of their husband or father, i.e., the asbestos worker,  legally responsible for that asbestos cancer.

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N.J. appellate court upholds $7M award from Exxon to woman handling husband’s asbestos-laden clothing

Quoted from

N.J. appellate court upholds $7M award from Exxon to woman handling husband’s asbestos-laden clothing

Published: Friday, August 20, 2010, 2:05 PM Updated: Saturday, August 21, 2010, 12:06 PM

Peggy Ackermann/Statehouse Bureau






TRENTON — A Berkeley Heights woman who washed her husband’s asbestos-laden clothing and later contracted mesothelioma is entitled to $7 million in damages from Exxon Mobil, an appellate court ruled today.

In upholding the jury verdict, the court also said Bonnie Anderson’s husband, John, is entitled to $500,000 and it added interest that’s still accruing.


“If we had a picture under the definition ‘innocent victim,’ this would be it,” said Moshe Maimon, a New York attorney who represents Anderson. “This is a tremendous precedent in terms of the families of workers.”

A 2006 state Supreme Court decision said people with a secondary exposure to asbestos can sue companies they believe are liable. Today’s appellate ruling marked the first time a jury verdict in such a case was upheld, Maimon said.

Exxon Mobil Corp. spokesman Kevin Allexon said the company had not decided whether it will appeal the ruling to the state’s highest court.


“Whatever the end result is, I hope I’m alive to see it,” Anderson, 61, said today. An electrician and librarian, she said she’s gone from being “a supermom” who worked and cared for her family to having to be looked after by her husband. She’s had surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation — which she said gave her leukemia — and now spends most of her time at home, where she is active in mesothelioma awareness and support groups.


“For me, it’s not about the money, it’s about the disease,” Anderson said. “I’d give anything to get my life back.”

[Article continues at original source]

Suit alleges woman contracted mesothelioma by washing family’s work clothes

Quoted from

Suit alleges woman contracted mesothelioma by washing family’s work clothes


6/7/2010 11:29 AM
By Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau

TYLER-After years of cleaning the asbestos-containing clothes of her father, husband, and son, Claudia Headley was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and died from the disease on May 30, 2008.

Claudia’s husband Robert and her sons Scott and Steven Headley filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Shell Energy North America (US) LP, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Exxon Mobile Corp. and Alon USA, as successor in interest to Cosden Petroleum, on May 28 in the Tyler Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

According to the complaint, Claudia’s father worked at a refinery in Big Spring for 38 years. Robert Headley and Scott Headley also worked for refineries.

“Decedent contracted mesothelioma as a result of household exposure to asbestos from repeatedly checking the pockets of and washing her Family’s clothes, which were coated with asbestos dust,” the lawsuit claims.

The defendants are accused of breaching their duties to provide a safe place to work, to warn of the hazards of employment, to protect independent contractors from work related hazards, in taking precautions to protect the safety of others when an employee performs work that is inherently dangerous and to avoid a foreseeable risk of injury to others.

The defendants should have known that the materials their men worked around were “deleterious and highly harmful” to Claudia Headley’s health and well-being, the family argues.

Further, the defendants knew that after working in this dusty, asbestos-ridden environment, it would naturally and unavoidably expose Claudia Headley to the same asbestos fibers, dust and particles.

[Article continues at original source]

Secondhand Asbestos Exposure Causes Mesothelioma and Will Kill Man’s Daughter

Posted on AsbestosHUB.

Cynthia Leigh Chason of Galveston, Texas claims her father’s work with asbestos products exposed her to so much of the fibers that she has developed mesothelioma.  Ms. Chason filed suit against Marathon Petroleum Company and others in Galveston County District Court on May 8, 2008.

According to the Complaint, Ms. Chason was exposed to asbestos through household contact from her father, Loy Garner, who was employed by Marathon from 1969 through at least 1979, and also at Smith Douglass in Texas City from 1961 to 1969.  He also worked short-term contracting work in the 1970s for BASF in Freeport, Todd Shipyard in Galveston, and Monsanto in Texas City.”

According to Ms. Chason, her father was required to handle asbestos containing products and/or machinery containing asbestos present in the workplace.  It is also asserted that he came into contact with others who may have worked directly with the asbestos containing products or machinery.  And he brought the asbestos fibers home.

The suit argues the defendants were aware of the potential health risk associated with asbestos products but failed to give any type of warning.  Had Mr. Garner been instructed as to the health hazards of asbestos, he would surely have taken steps to prevent bringing asbestos fibers home on his clothing and exposing his family members.

Litigation will continue even after Chason’s passing as a result of mesothelioma, says the suit.

As noted in a previous post, mesothelioma can kill very quickly once diagnosed.  This is a sad case in which the victim truly was blameless.

See the video on Asbestos News Minute.

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