Just a few days ago, CBL reviewed the state of the law in California on company liability for asbestos take-home exposure. We framed the question this way:
When a worker has been exposed to asbestos fibers and brought those fibers home on his or her clothing, can a relative who contracts mesothelioma sue a source of those taken home fibers seeking recovery for the relative’s damages?
Looks like we’re going to find out. Yesterday, the Cal Supremes granted hearings in both Haver v. BNSF Railway Company (where the Court of Appeal’s Second District found no legal duty to the folks at home) and Kesner v. Superior Court (Court of Appeal’s First District, somewhat different facts, opposite outcome).
For now, this means that both Haver and Kesner are depublished and not citable as authority for anything by anyone. And for now, the only authority on the subject is Campbell v. Ford Motor Company (2012) 206 Cal.App.4th 15, where the Second District Court of Appeal found Ford owed no legal duty to the plaintiff, the daughter and sister of employees of independent contractors who brought asbestos fibers home, where the plaintiff was exposed.
When do we see a decision? That’s anybody’s guess. The wheels are turning slowly at the California Supreme Court right now. But we will continue to stay tuned.