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NY Supreme Court: Companies Must Warn Employees of Asbestos Danger

Asbestos has long been known to cause dangerous and potentially-fatal mesothelioma in people frequently exposed to it. Companies in New York, however, have not long been warning their employees about that hazard. They have been sidestepping responsibility by claiming that if they did not manufacturer the asbestos-laden product, they did not have the duty to warn their workers about the carcinogen. The New York Supreme Court has ruled otherwise.

Two Cases Leading to One Conclusion

Crane Company manufactures industrial equipment that sometimes requires components to be serviced or replaced with specific pieces. Those specific pieces just so happened to contain asbestos and were produced by another manufacturer entirely. It was shown that Crane knew that the asbestos in those third-party parts caused mesothelioma; regardless of the danger, Crane did not warn users of its own equipment of the asbestos hazard while still recommending those pieces in particular.

Crane would later be sued by two different plaintiffs – one a boiler technician and another a pipe fitter – who claimed that they had developed mesothelioma due to their extensive work with Crane machines that used asbestos-based parts and materials. Each plaintiff did admit that Crane did not make the asbestos-laden parts but they felt that Crane should have warned them all the same. After all, the machines Crane manufactured couldn’t work without those parts.

The initial jury decisions both ruled against Crane, but the company was quick to appeal to a higher court. With an in-depth review of the circumstances, the New York Court of Appeals held that Crane was responsible for the mesothelioma cases due to their failure to warn their users, despite them not actually making those components that contained asbestos. To put it into similar context, this is the same responsibility food manufacturers have to warn people that their products contain peanuts, even if those peanuts are grown and shipped from a third-party farm.

With this recent ruling solidified and backed by the high courts of New York, mesothelioma plaintiffs should feel more encouraged than ever to make their claims. If you need assistance filing for your recovery against a negligent manufacturer, company, or employer, contact a Rochester mesothelioma lawyer from The Law Office of Robert King. The firm’s track record of success is indicative of Attorney King’s unwavering dedication to his clients and unmatched knowledge in the field of personal injury claims.

Call (585) 286-5124 today to learn more about your legal options.