Washington State Appeals Court Rejects Argument Against Mesothelioma Liability
Two years after a state trial court decided that a company that had purchased another was responsible for that mesothelioma caused by that company’s negligence, the purchasing company appealed their verdict. The successor company, Elementis, also tried to deny the victim’s stepdaughter the right to a portion of the damages assessed based upon the fact that the victim had divorced the girl’s mother. Both motions were denied by a Washington state court, and Elementis was told that they must pay damages to the victim’s estate.
Exposure to asbestos lead to mesothelioma diagnosis and rapid decline
The original mesothelioma lawsuit involved Marvin Leren, a worker who began working for brick manufacturing company Z-Brick shortly after his graduation from high school, and remained with the company for twenty years. During that time he was exposed to large quantities of asbestos dust, and in the spring of 2015 he began experiencing shortness of breath and other symptoms of mesothelioma. He was diagnosed shortly thereafter and died in November, leaving a portion of his estate to his stepdaughter from a marriage that ended amicably in 1985. When Leren decided to pursue legal action and seek damages for his fatal illness, he learned that 100% of the stock in the company that had provided Z-brick with the asbestos from which he made tiles had been sold to Harrisons & Crosfield, inc., which was in turn sold entirely to Elementis.
Judge denies all of successor company’s arguments
In reviewing the appeal filed by Elementis, the Washington appeals court determined that the product line doctrine of successor liability meant that they were required to pay the damages caused by the original company, in large part because their acquisition meant that they had purchased the goodwill associated with their sale of hazardous materials. They also pointed out that the law does not end a relationship between a parent and their stepchild simply because the marriage in which they were introduced has been dissolved. Elementis is required to provide both Laren’s estate and his stepdaughter with the damages that the jury in the case awarded.
If you are suffering from mesothelioma or have a loved one diagnosed or who has died of the asbestos-related disease, life can be very complicated and it can be hard to know where to turn. For assistance, contact the compassionate Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.FREE Mesothelioma Packet