Delaware Supreme Court reverses dismissal of secondary asbestos exposure case

29 Jun 2018 by under Legal

4178172 4178172 american justice series edited 100x100 Delaware Supreme Court reverses dismissal of secondary asbestos exposure caseDelaware’s Supreme Court reversed the dismissal of a case brought by the estate of a woman who claimed her lung cancer was caused by secondary exposure to asbestos.

Chief Justice Leo E. Strine Jr., speaking on behalf of the five-member court, found that the estate of Dorothy Ramsey could have a viable claim against the manufacturers who supplied products containing asbestos that her husband allegedly brought home on his clothes, provided that the manufacturers failed to warn of the risk.

The lawsuit claims that Ramsey’s husband worked in an environment that was contaminated with asbestos. Ramsey came in contact with the carcinogenic mineral when she regularly laundered his clothing. She died of lung cancer in 2015.

Asbestos is a mineral that contains microscopic fibers that have been used in building materials. The fibers can remain airborne for days, and can be swallowed or inhaled by those working in asbestos-contaminated environments. The tiny fibers can also cling to clothing and come in contact with those outside asbestos contaminated environments. Asbestos exposure can cause an inflammation in the lungs called asbestosis, lung cancer, and , a rare but deadly cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and other internal organs.

Ramsey’s estate blamed Georgia Southern University Advanced Development Center and manufacturer Hollingsworth & Vace Co., of negligently failing to warn about the risks of the asbestos used in the production of pipe and pipe fittings at Haveg Industries Inc., where her husband was employed.

In August 2017, Superior Court Judge Vivian L. Medinilla dismissed the case by summary judgment citing previous Delaware Supreme Court rulings that found manufacturers lacked a relationship with employees of asbestos product users that was needed to support “affirmative negligence.” But Delaware’s justices found that Ramsey estate’s claim should go back to the Supreme Court to determine whether the manufacturers failed to provide employees with adequate warnings about the risk of .

Source: Law360

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