Manufacturers have a duty to warn about potential dangers of parts with asbestos that were later added onto their products by third parties, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled.
The ruling, in a case involving sailors diagnosed with cancer, says this responsibility is in keeping with maritime law that extends special protections to Navy veterans.
Air & Liquid Systems Corp. and four other manufacturers made equipment for Navy ships that required asbestos parts to function as intended, but the manufacturers did not always incorporate the asbestos into their products. Instead, the Navy later added the asbestos to the equipment.
Two Navy veterans, Kenneth McAfee and John DeVries, were exposed to asbestos on the ships and developed cancer. They and their wives sued the manufacturers, alleging that the asbestos exposure caused the cancer and contending that the manufacturers were negligent in failing to warn about the dangers of asbestos in the integrated products.
You may think asbestos is yesterday’s problem, but it is not. It’s today’s problem, and — if Congress fails to act — the problem will continue.
Asbestos kills nearly 40,000 Americans every year and, since it is still not banned, imports are on the rise again. In August of 2018, U.S. asbestos imports rose 2,000 percent just from the month prior.
But lawmakers taking action to prevent exposure to asbestos, a known carcinogen. The recent introduction of the bicameral Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019 (ARBAN) would ban all asbestos imports and use, without loopholes or exclusions.
A California jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $41 million to a woman who said that asbestos in the company’s talcum-powder-based products, including Johnson’s Baby Powder, caused her mesothelioma.
The verdict marks the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate, which faces more than 13,000 talc-related lawsuits nationwide.Johnson & Johnson said it was disappointed with the verdict and would appeal, citing “serious procedural and evidentiary errors” in the course of the trial.
The FDA is urging anyone who has three specific Claire’s cosmetics products in their home to stop using them immediately. The reason for this is the products concerned have been revealed to contain tremolite asbestos during the FDA’s testing. The specific Claire’s cosmetics the FDA warns could include asbestos are:
- Claire’s Eye Shadows–Batch No/Lot No: 08/17
- Claire’s Compact Powder–Batch No/Lot No: 07/15
- Claire’s Contour Palette–Batch No/Lot No: 04/17
So just how did a known carcinogen like asbestos make it into cosmetics? As the FDA explains: “Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is often found near talc, an ingredient in many cosmetic products . . . During talc mining, if talc mining sites are not selected carefully and steps are taken to purify the talc ore sufficiently, the talc may be contaminated with asbestos.”
“We’ve got a Worksafe. To me, the big question is why we don’t have a Homesafe,” asbestos expert Jason Catterall says.
Following revelations that there were around 40,000 homes in Canterbury containing asbestos, new regulations were created to reduce the chances of tradespeople and homeowners being exposed to airborne asbestos fibres, which can lead to cancer in later life, and an early death.
In the first case, the Court of Appeal reduced a fine on the grounds that the Crown Court had taken into account the financial position of the parent company of the offending organisation at an earlier step in the sentencing process than it should have done.
In the second, the Court of Appeal reduced a fine where it found that there had been an incorrect assessment of the likelihood of harm at first instance.
In July 2017, Southwark Crown Court fined NPS London Ltd £370,000 for a breach of section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) for failures relating to an asbestos survey, identification and removal. The judge at first instance assessed culpability with reference to the guideline as ‘high’, and assessed that the risk of harm created was harm category 2.
R B Asbestos Consultants offer high quality asbestos services for a wide range of property sectors from local schools and colleges, factories, and government buildings to multi-national property portfolios.
Our expert and friendly team of surveyors are qualified to the highest industry standards. The work we carry out at R B Asbestos Consultants conforms to all relevant sector standards including HSG 264 and ISO 9001 and we hold appropriate Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance.
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Whether you are a building owner, branch of government, or representing a large corporation – R B Asbestos Consultants has built almost 30 years of expertise working with people just like you.
Founded by sole trader Greg Byrne in 1988, partnering with Stacey Byrne in 2004, the now Limited Company has grown in both size and reputation. Our unrivalled knowledge and independent advice in the asbestos sector now spans from small retail outlets to complex industrial sites.
We forge longstanding relationships and offer total peace of mind to clients facing all scales of asbestos issues.
Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published information about eight citations and over $66,000 in penalties issued to a multinational hospitality company that runs hotels and resorts across the globe.
The citations and penalties came from the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division (HIOSH) after the agency determined that workers performing maintenance and demolition activities on a hotel property in Waikiki were not informed about asbestos handling, personal protective equipment (PPE) and good work practices. The employer was also cited for failure to conduct periodic safety inspections and for not training workers on asbestos hazards and the proper use of respirators.
A woman who stole $49,500 from an asbestos charity by putting her own details on a cheque has avoided a custodial prison sentence and been ordered to perform 300 hours of community service.
Catherine Koster, 53, worked for the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia as an office manager when she was given an invoice in November 2017 and told to pay for the charity’s annual fundraising race day.
Healthcare conglomerate Johnson & Johnson has acknowledged that it received subpoenas from the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over alleged asbestos contamination in its baby powder products.This is the first time the company is disclosing action by federal agencies on the alleged contamination issue.