A ruling in a California appeals court may set an important precedent by allowing an asbestos lawsuit to proceed against a company that produced machines involved in the release of asbestos contained in an entirely different product.
The appeals panel ruled to reverse a previous decision from a lower court that had ruled Hennessy Industries Inc. could not be sued for asbestos exposure caused by brake pads that contained the deadly fibers but were designed by another company. Hennessy instead built machines that only shaped the brake linings.
While the original ruling, which applied to four potential lawsuits against Hennessy, based its judgment on strict interpretations of product liability law, the appeals court reversed the decision based on exceptions created by the California Supreme Court decision in regard to laws preventing a company from being held liable for products it did not create.
Because all brake linings used during the time period in which the lawsuits are based were made with asbestos, the court found it reasonable to believe that Hennessy’s brake lining shaper could be held liable for any asbestos exposure that occurred.
“Under the allegations of plaintiffs’ complaints, which we must accept as true, Hennessy’s ‘product was intended to be used with another product for the very activity that created a hazardous situation,’” the court ruled, according to Law360.
Asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits can sometimes require very difficult and specific interpretations of the law. With this in mind, it’s important to get legal help that has years of experience when it comes to mesothelioma law. If you need help with an asbestos or mesothelioms lawsuit, contact Sokolove Law today for a free legal consultation.