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Plaintiff leased greenhouses from defendant.  Defendant did not disclose that the greenhouses contained asbestos and other hazardous substances.  The jury awarded plaintiff damages on theories of negligence and premises liability.  This decision holds that there was substantial evidence to support the verdicts despite the lease's indemnification and limitation of liability clauses.  The indemnification clause did not apply if the landlord… Read More

This decision affirms a $12 million compensatory damage judgment agaisnt J&J and Colgate for products liability and other torts arising from plaintiff's mesothelioma allegedly caused by asbestos or asbestos-like fibers in defendants' talc products.  The trial court did not err in overruling objections to plaintiff's expert witnesses' opinions.  There was some evidence that the World Health Organization's International Agency for… Read More

This decision reverses a punitive damage award against a supplier of talc to the manufacturer of Old Spice talcum powder.  Defendant did not contest the jury's verdicts finding that plaintiff contracted mesothelioma from the asbestos in the talcum powder and that defendant was negligent in failing to detect and warn consumers about its presence in the product.  However, there was… Read More

In this asbestosis case, plaintiffs added Air Brake in place of a Doe defendant shortly after Boeing produced documents showing that Air Brake designed the brake shoes for its light rail cars, specifying brake pads containing asbestos.  The trial court erred in granting summary judgment on limitations grounds after concluding that plaintiffs "knew or should have known" of Air Brake's… Read More

Plaintiff contracted mesothelioma, allegedly from asbestos-concrete pipe manufactured by defendant, a successor to Johns Manville's asbestos-concrete business.  A $15 million punitive damage award is reversed for lack of evidence that an officer, director or managing agent of defendant acted with malice, oppression or fraud or authorized or ratified any conduct.  Romo v. Ford Motor Co. (2002) 99 Cal.App.4th 1115 doesn't… Read More

None of the exceptions to hearsay rule applied to permit admission of plaintiff’s supervisor’s testimony that he had seen defendant’s name on invoices and shipping orders for asbestos-containing pipes. Read More

An employer owed no duty of care to an employee’s steady, non-live-in girlfriend to protect against transmission of asbestos dust on employee’s clothing; gas station, which did occasional car repairs, was not sufficiently in the stream of asbestos-containing products so as to incur strict liability for those products.  Read More

Plaintiff’s asbestos-caused mesothelioma claim accrued when she received that diagnosis; her government claim, filed 10 months later, was untimely, so her suit was dismissed.  Read More

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting a letter, containing a remark showing callous indifference to worker death from asbestos, because the letter showed the employer was on notice of the risks of asbestos early, and prejudice from the callous remark was avoided by a jury instruction limiting consideration of the letter to the issue of notice… Read More

In this asbestosis case against an independent contractor that laid gas pipelines for So. Cal. Gas, plaintiff's employer, the trial court did not err in giving jury instructions about the employer's duty to provide a safe workplace for its employees, nor did it err in marking but not admitting a document used to refresh a defense witness’s recollection.  Read More

Defendant, a broker who arranged for asbestos-containing insulation products to be delivered to Naval shipyards for insulation of submarine pipes, may successfully invoke the defense contractor immunity doctrine, since the Navy’s detailed specifications could only be satisfied with asbestos-containing insulation, and the Navy had specifically studied and approved the aspect of the product—its asbestos—which was alleged to be a health… Read More

Employers and landowners owe a duty of care to members of an asbestos worker's household, who habitually live with the worker and thus are exposed to the asbestos he or she brings home from work.  Read More

Manufacturer of auto brake forming tools is strictly liable for worker’s injury caused by breathing asbestos dust while using the tools in the intended manner on asbestos-laced auto brakes even though manufacturer did not make the brakes.  Read More

Defendant failed to introduce any substantial evidence that plaintiff, though a salesman of asbestos-containing insulation and refractory, was aware of its cancer-causing quality, as would have been required for defendant to assert the sophisticated user defense.  Read More