One of the more recent asbestosis compensation claims was filed in late June by the widow of a Chevron USA worker who developed asbestosis disease and passed away on December 18th of last year.
The asbestosis lawsuit, filed by Camelia Esbry and her children with the help of an asbestosis lawyer on June 29th, alleges that Louis Esbry suffered asbestosis exposure while performing his duties at Chevron USA. The nature of Esbry's specific job was not included in the outline of the lawsuit by the Southeast Texas Record (7/5/12). Nonetheless, the plaintiffs allege that Chevron knew for decades about the dangers surrounding asbestos, while failing to warn its workers.
The asbestosis claim, Case No. B192-630, was filed in Jefferson County District Court and assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.
Meanwhile, a couple of recent asbestosis rulings in California are demonstrative of just how active this portfolio continues to be, in spite of exposure to asbestos that may have occurred decades ago.
On May 22, Division Two of the Second District affirmed summary judgment for the manufacturer of a brake-grinding machine in Barker v. Hennessy Industries Inc. (No. B232316). The Court held that Hennessy was not required to warn about the hazards of asbestos even in light of the possibility that its machines would be used in conjunction with asbestos-containing products, like brakes.
In other words, the manufacturer of machines that admittedly contain no asbestos at all, do not have to be concerned about what people do with them. If the machines are used to grind things such as brake shoes and pads that happen to be manufactured with asbestos, that use has nothing to do with the manufacturer of the machines and thus should not be held liable for anyone contracting asbestosis lung disease, according to the ruling.
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The First District Court revived the lawsuits. According to the San Francisco Chronicle (5/8/12), the Court found that given the sole purpose of the Hennessy machines was to grind brake linings, it would be inevitable the machines would play a role in the potential release of asbestos fibers and the risk for asbestosis pleural plaques.
"When used as designed and intended, Hennessy's machines caused the release of the toxic agent," said Presiding Justice Barbara Jones. The Chronicle also reported that yet another panel of the appeals court reached a similar conclusion in five consolidated cases earlier this year.