STORY FROM: Asbestos

Calif. Supreme Court Adopts Sophisticated Intermediary Doctrine; Affirms Asbestos Verdict Against Special Electric

SAN FRANCISCO –– The California Supreme Court has affirmed an intermediate appellate court’s order reinstating an asbestos verdict against Special Electric, officially adopting the sophisticated intermediary doctrine, but finding that the defendant had not established it “actually and reasonably” relied on Johns-Manville to warn end users like the plaintiff.

In its May 23 opinion, the Supreme Court noted that it had not previously addressed how the sophisticated intermediary doctrine applies in California.

William and Jacqueline Webb filed the underlying lawsuit, seeking damages for William’s mesothelioma. The plaintiffs alleged that William developed the illness after being exposed to asbestos while ...

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