Georgia Appeals Court Allows Mesothelioma Case Against Power Company to Continue

After Colen Campbell was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma in 2017, he and his wife filed lawsuits seeking compensation from 49 different defendants. His claims were based in part on his exposure to asbestos at the Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Power Plant, when he installed insulation as a contractor for North Brothers in 1973 and 1974. Though other defendants have been dismissed or granted summary judgment, Georgia Power Company’s efforts to evade responsibility have thus far been denied, and last week the Georgia Court of Appeals agreed that factual questions remain and need to be resolved.

Power Company Argues that Contractor was Responsible for Mesothelioma Victim’s Safety

At issue in the mesothelioma lawsuit is the question of whether Georgia Power was responsible for Mr. Campbell’s safety, or whether that was the responsibility of his employer North Brothers, which the power company had contracted with for an insulation project at the power plant. In their decision, the appeals court noted that Georgia Power had significant control over the project, including designating materials, approving modifications, and maintaining the right to inspect the work and establish safety and performance rules and regulations. It also designated the space that the contractors would be working in had supervisors onsite, and maintained the ability to fire individuals working for the contractor for substandard work. 

Despite Georgia Power’s assertions that North Brothers was responsible for their employee’s safety, and therefore for the exposure to asbestos that caused his mesothelioma, the court pointed out that Georgia Power maintained copies of all purchase orders, had the materials sent to their representatives, and provided instructions on how the material was to be used. The court also noted that the company had specified that asbestos be used despite being aware of the dangers of the material at the time that the work was being done. 

Mesothelioma Victim Recalls Insulation Boxes Indicated Asbestos 

In testimony provided to the court, Mr Campbell recalled that the boxes of insulation he had been supplied with were marked as containing asbestos, but that he was not familiar with mesothelioma or fully aware of asbestos’ risks until the late 1970s. At that time he began taking steps to protect himself. A representative for Georgia Power provided similar testimony regarding the presence of asbestos in materials provided during the project, as well as that the company was aware of asbestos’ risks in the early 1970s. 

If you or someone you love was exposed to asbestos, the risk of malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases is a significant concern. For information about the resources available to you, contact the Patient Advocates at today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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