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Court Rules for Asbestos Victim in Negligence Lawsuit Against Major Automaker

A major automaker that denied any wrongdoing in response to a negligence lawsuit must now explain, in court, why it is not responsible for causing the Plaintiff’s asbestosis and asbestos related pleural disease. A judge has rejected the company’s argument, ruling in favor of the asbestos victim who says he was continuously exposed to asbestos while working on and around asbestos-containing brakes supplied by the automaker.

In the most recent action by the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, the negligence claim states:

“The court should deny-in-part” (automakers) “motion for summary judgment with respect to” (automakers) “liability for Plaintiffs injuries allegedly caused by asbestos-containing brakes.” Further, “Plaintiff has presented sufficient evidence that” (automaker) “supplied original asbestos-containing brakes; and that Plaintiff was exposed to this asbestos when he performed personal automotive work on his first wife's new 1970” auto manufactured by the automaker.

The action also states that the defendant’s motion for summary should be denied-in-part because the Plaintiff provided sufficient evidence that the automaker knew that its brakes contained asbestos and it had a duty to warn about the dangers of asbestos in its automobiles. Based on the decision, the negligence and failure to warn asbestos lawsuits are able to proceed.

Though asbestos is regulated in the U.S., it is not banned. In fact, the manufacture, importation, processing and distribution in commerce of dozens of products is still legal. Among these products are numerous automotive parts such as clutch facings, disk brake pads, drum brake linings, brake blocks, automatic transmission components, gaskets, and friction materials. As a result, the EPA has published warnings and safety recommendations for auto mechanics.

“Because some automotive brakes and clutches available or in use today may contain asbestos, professional automotive technicians and home mechanics who repair and replace brakes and clutches may be exposed to asbestos dust. As a best practice, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that mechanics should assume that all brakes have asbestos-type shoes. Worn non-asbestos-type brakes cannot be readily distinguished from asbestos-type shoes. If a mechanic assumes incorrectly that a shoe is a non-asbestos type and fails to utilize brake dust control procedures, increased asbestos exposure may result.”

For detailed safety guidelines, visit the official EPA website.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, please see your doctor right away. There is no cure for mesothelioma. However, early detection could lead to better treatment options and outcomes.

 

Sources

"Current Best Practices for Preventing Asbestos Exposure Among Brake and Clutch Repair Workers." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 21 Dec. 2016. Web. 06 Feb. 2018.

District of Delaware. United States District Court, 12 Dec. 2017. Web. 06 Feb. 2018.