Chemical and toxic products

CA Flag 1The Supreme Court of California has overturned prior case law and imposed broad new liability on “employers and premises owners” in “take-home” toxic exposure cases. In a lengthy opinion issued in the consolidated Kesner v. Superior Court  and Haver v. BNSF Railway Co. matters, the Court stated:

We hold that the duty of employers and premises owners to exercise ordinary care in their use of asbestos includes preventing exposure to asbestos carried by the bodies and clothing of on-site workers. Where it is reasonably foreseeable that workers, their clothing, or personal effects will act as vectors carrying asbestos from the premises to household members, employers have a duty to take reasonable care to prevent this means of transmission. This duty also applies to premises owners who use asbestos on their property, subject to any exceptions and affirmative defenses generally applicable to premises owners, such as the rules of contractor liability.

Analysis
The Court held that “an employer’s or property owner’s duty to prevent take-home exposure extends only to members of a worker’s household, i.e., persons who live with the worker and are thus foreseeable in close and sustained contact with the worker over a significant period of time.”

Continue Reading California Imposes Broad Liability in “Take-Home” Toxic Exposure Cases

Petri dishI recently co-authored an article for Law360 entitled “Cornell Ruling Is Cause for Experts’ Concern,” which covered the ruling by the New York Court of Appeals in Cornell v. 360 West 51st St. Realty, LLC (2014 NY Slip Op 02096). The ruling dealt with the admissibility of an expert’s causation opinion in a mold exposure suit. Click here for the complete text of the article. A summary of the piece follows.

Continue Reading Cornell Ruling Is Cause for Experts’ Concern