Since 2005, take-home asbestos exposure claims have constituted a new wave of asbestos litigation. In contrast to employees exposed to asbestos at a worksite, take-home exposure occurred among those affected by employees who inadvertently carried asbestos home on their clothing or their tools. While some jurisdictions have rejected these claims on the basis that the defendant did not owe a legal duty to the plaintiff, the Washington Court of Appeals recently recognized the potential validity of a household member’s claim for relief for the harm he or she suffered as a result of asbestos exposure. In doing so, the court applied an ordinary negligence test and examined the foreseeability of the harm to the plaintiff as the primary step in determining whether the defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty. Although the Washington State Supreme Court has no precedent governing take-home asbestos exposure claims specifically, the courts of appeals’ reasoning comports with Washington negligence law. Accordingly, Washington courts should apply this ordinary negligence test in future take-home asbestos exposure cases.
Rebecca L. Levine,
Notes and Comments,
Clearing the Air: Ordinary Negligence in Take-Home Asbestos Exposure Litigation,
86 Wash. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol86/iss2/5