A New Jersey Appellate Court has recently ruled that a manufacturer of an asbestos product has a duty to warn about the risk of exposure to asbestos from asbestos containing replacement parts even if the manufacturer did not distribute those replacement parts.
This ruling recently came in the matter of Whelan v. Armstrong International. The matter was originally heard in Middlesex County, New Jersey before going to the Appellate Division of the state of New Jersey. The New Jersey Appellate Division specifically held: “We conclude that a duty to warn exists when the manufacturer’s product contains asbestos components, which are integral to the function of the product, and the manufacturer is aware that routine periodic maintenance of the product will require the replacement of the components with other asbestos-containing products,”
Throughout the case the defendants acknowledged that the asbestos containing replacement parts would be used in the maintenance of their products however they contended that because they were not the ones who sold or placed those products the stream of commerce, they should not be held liable for any failure to warn about the dangers of the asbestos within the replacement parts. As set forth above, the appellate court did not agree and held that the original manufactures do have a duty to warn when the replacement parts are an integral part of the products.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was used in many industrial products. When disturbed, the dust and fibers created can be very dangerous. If the dust is inhaled, the fibers can be lodged in the lining of the lungs or other parts of the body and cause a deadly form of cancer called mesothelioma. In this particular case, Mr. Arthur Whelan developed mesothelioma and ultimately passed away from the disease.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with an asbestos related illness, call our New Jersey asbestos attorneys. Our attorneys will sit with you and discuss all of your options. We will try to provide information and answers to your questions. We are here to help.