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A manufacturer whose product was used at husband’s job site did not owe duty to warn spouse of risks associated with take-home asbestos exposure to its product.

April 1, 2017
Ramsey v. Atlas Turner Ltd. (In re Asbestos Litigation), No. N14C-01-287 ASB, 2017 Del. Super. LEXIS 53 (Del. Super. Ct. Feb. 2, 2017)

The decedent’s estate brought a negligence action against the defendant manufacturer, alleging the manufacturer failed to warn of the dangers associated with its asbestos-containing paper products used at her husband’s former place of employment. The lawsuit claimed the decedent’s husband carried asbestos dust (created by the defendant’s paper product) home to his wife, who ultimately contracted lung cancer from the exposure. The court granted summary judgment in favor of the manufacturer, holding it did not owe his wife a duty of care because the allegations were claims of nonfeasance rather than misfeasance and because the estate failed to identify a “special relationship” between the manufacturer and the wife. As a result, there could be no liability for the manufacturer’s alleged failure to warn. In so ruling, the court followed the principles espoused in Price v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. and Riedel v. ICI Americas Inc.


Case Law Alerts, 2nd Quarter, April 2017

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