STORY FROM: Asbestos

Wash. Court Reverses Defense Verdict of John Crane in Asbestos Case, Finds Fault with Jury Instruction on Proximate Cause

SEATTLE –– A Washington appellate court has reversed a defense verdict entered in favor of John Crane Inc. in an asbestos case, finding that a jury instruction on proximate cause did not allow the plaintiffs to adequately argue their theory of the case.

In the March 16 opinion, the Washington Court of Appeals, Division One, found it “troublesome when an instruction defining proximate cause undercuts a party’s theory as revealed by the pleadings, opening statement, evidence and closing arguments.”

“Normally,” the court found, “a proximate cause definition is limited to a general articulation of the legal standards related to the ...

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