Friable Thoughts

Monday, September 03, 2007

Down and Out in Indiana

The plaintiff's bar took it on the chin in the Hoosier state with a trio of opinions that knocked out any hope of a product liability claim for asbestos cases. DAP, INC. v. AKAIWA, held the asbestos miner exception to the 10 year statute of limitations for product liability actions does not apply to a defendant that merely used asbestos fibers in its product. TH AGRICULTURE AND NUTRITION, LLC v. AKAIWA held that a distributor of raw asbestos fiber also does not fall into the asbestos miner exception. And finally, ASBESTOS CORP. LTD. v. AKAIWA put the nail in the coffin, holding that a plaintiff's admission that he did not see dust when working with an asbestos containing product is sufficient to show no exposure to the fibers in the product.

Of the three, DAP was a no-brainer given prior precedent from the state supreme court. TH-Agriculture was close given it sold raw fiber and Asbestos Corporation seemed to be the plaintiff's best shot, although the issue there was whether there was substantial exposure.

Even if the plaintiff's bar wins at the state supreme court on the second and third of these cases, wouldn't it make sense to file in another state (assuming you could)? DAP limits the number of potential settling defendants to asbestos mines and, possibly, distributors of raw fiber. The only other defendants are premises and contractor defendants and you need to prove negligence, rather than strict liability, for those defendants.


  • I like your site. It's interesting as a new asbestos defense attorney.

    By Blogger Brad Raple, at 2:35 PM  

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