U.S. Supreme Court issues opinion on asbestos

There’s good news for Navy veterans who developed mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure on ships: The U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion allowing mesothelioma victims to take action against the manufacturers of boilers, pumps and other metal equipment that required asbestos components be added in order for them to operate.

Many Navy servicemembers and veterans developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos on Navy ships. For many, that exposure occurred when using equipment that contained asbestos, including pumps, blowers, valves, turbines and boilers.

For years, manufacturers of these products would raise the ‘bare metal defense,’ arguing that they should not be held liable for asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma. However, the equipment was designed to be used only after asbestos-containing parts or insulation were added. This resulted in Navy service members being exposed to asbestos.

The Supreme Court decided, in a 6-3 decision, that these manufacturers can be held liable, and have a duty to warn if:

  • The manufacturer requires the asbestos-containing part to be added
  • The manufacturer knows that the part is dangerous
  • The manufacturer has no reason to believe that the users would be aware of this risk

Read more about the Supreme Court case, which Justice Kavanaugh wrote, and Roberts, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan joined.

What does this mean for mesothelioma victims and surviving family members?

This decision is good news for Navy members and veterans who developed mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure at sea, as well as surviving family members.

Now, these individuals will be able to seek legal recourse when an asbestos-containing product has caused mesothelioma. This Supreme Court decision gives ammunition against the bare metal defense, which benefited product manufacturers. Now, mesothelioma victims can seek the justice they deserve.

If you or a loved one have developed mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure on a Navy ship, talk to an attorney from our firm to learn about your legal options. We represent clients throughout the U.S. Call 866-725-3707.

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