The Gori Law Firm
Get Your FREE Case Review 24 Hours A Day
To protect your safety during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we offer telephone and video conferences, in addition to face-to-face meetings. Please contact our office today to set up a remote consultation.
Arrow
Mesothelioma
& Asbestos
Mesothelioma
& Asbestos

Learn more about mesothelioma, symptoms & treatment, frequently asked questions and more.
Arrow
Mesothelioma
& Asbestos
Mesothelioma
& Asbestos

Learn more about mesothelioma, symptoms & treatment, frequently asked questions and more.
Arrow
Mass Torts, Defective Drugs & Products
Mass Torts, Defective Drugs & Products
We help victims of dangerous drugs (Actos, Mirena, Lipitor, etc.) and faulty devices (hip implants, pacemakers, etc.)
Arrow
Mass Torts, Defective Drugs & Products
Mass Torts, Defective Drugs & Products
We help victims of dangerous drugs (Actos, Mirena, Lipitor, etc.) and faulty devices (hip implants, pacemakers, etc.)
Arrow
Personal Injury &
Workers' Compensation
Personal Injury &
Workers' Compensation

We help clients who need assistance with work-related injuries linked to asbestos and other serious problems.
Arrow
Personal Injury &
Workers' Compensation
Personal Injury &
Workers' Compensation

We help clients who need assistance with work-related injuries linked to asbestos and other serious problems.

Maryland high court denies GP’s liability for family mesothelioma

| Aug 2, 2013 | Products Liability |

The State of Maryland’s highest court ruled recently that Georgia-Pacific Corp. does not have to pay a woman who lost a lung to mesothelioma the $5 million a lower court had ordered. Why? Although the asbestos that sickened her was clearly from Georgia-Pacific products, her exposure was second-hand and took place in the 1960s, before the full danger of second-hand exposure was confirmed, the court said. Therefore, she had no legitimate product liability claim against the corporate giant.

The woman was exposed to asbestos while doing her grandfather’s laundry. Between 1968 and 1969, he worked at a building where Georgia-Pacific drywall cement was being applied, and the woman testified that his work clothes were often so caked with dust from the product, which contained asbestos, that she had to shake them out before they could be washed.

In 2008, the woman was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, which is caused by exposure to asbestos. We also know now that the family members of workers who used asbestos have often been exposed to sufficient amounts of the deadly fiber to cause mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases simply by coming into contact with those workers’ clothes.

In Oct. 2009, a trial court found Georgia-Pacific liable for the woman’s asbestos exposure and awarded her $5 million for her lost lung and other losses. The state’s immediate appellate court upheld that award.

The high court reversed that award unanimously. “Although the danger to asbestos in the workplace was well-recognized at least by the 1930s, the danger from exposure in the household to asbestos dust brought home by workers … was not made publicly clear until much later,” the ruling reads.

The court found that the danger of second-hand asbestos exposure wasn’t fully known until the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued federal regulations to protect workers from the fiber in 1972. Since this woman was exposed in the 1960s, the court reasoned, Georgia-Pacific wasn’t in a position to be sure that its products could harm people through second-hand exposure, so it had no duty to warn workers’ relatives of that danger.

In an ordinary product liability case, all the plaintiff needs to show is that the product is unreasonably dangerous when used as expected. If a manufacturer puts and unreasonably dangerous product on the market, or fails to warn users of unavoidable hazards, it is responsible for any harm the product caused.

Asbestos liability cases are handled somewhat differently — but the difference was meant in large part to make it easier, not harder, for victims of asbestos exposure to get compensation for the harm these deadly products caused. This ruling seems far out of step with that purpose.

Source: Insurance Journal, “Maryland Court Rules Asbestos Firms Not Responsible for Family Exposure,” July 11, 2013

Mesothelioma Lawyers and Personal Injury Attorneys

Get a Free Case Review!

Archives

FindLaw Network

Why Choose The Gori Law Firm?

Experience

With over 100 years of combined legal experience, we guide our clients through the litigation process by addressing questions and concerns and about the outcome every step of the way. Read More

Results

The team at The Gori Law Firm fights hard for clients, working to get the compensation and the settlement they deserve, obtaining over $3 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Read More

Team Approach

We are more than just experienced attorneys: our team is also made up of highly trained paralegals and professionals specially trained to deal with the demands of these complex cases. Read More

Faster Trial Dates

We know that obtaining funds in a timely manner will help cover medical expenses. The Gori Law Firm works quickly to recover funds and secure the earliest possible trial dates on our client's behalf. Read More

Recognition

  • Super Lawyers
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • American Association for Justice
  • ABA Defending Liberty Pursuing Justice
  • Illinois State Bar Association

Get A Free Case Review

Get a Free Case Review Today