Friable Thoughts

Friday, July 08, 2005

Masking Liability

You don't need to have an asbestos-containing product to be a defendant in asbestos litigation. Just ask 3M, the maker of the paper dust mask. Now, there is a bill to make dust mask manufacturers immune from product liability suits if the mask was approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) or, before 1972, by the U.S. Bureau of Mines.

The bill would also preempt claims based on exposure to silica, coal dust and any other airborn toxin, though I would guess asbestos is the prime mover here. Always good to multi-task. Who would've thought that something as simple as a paper mask to get a big company into so much trouble?

Immunity for makers of dust masks?


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