Honeywell International, Inc. v. Walter E. Boomer, Administrator. Lokey also testified that he worked as a pipefitter at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for slightly over a year in the early 1940s. Ford Motor Co. v. Boomer. Ford and Honeywell appealed. Restatement (Third) of Torts § 27, cmt. After a jury trial, the trial court found in favor of the estate as to negligence and awarded damages in the amount of $282,685. It is not currently known why some are more susceptible than others to developing mesothelioma, or why even low levels of exposure may cause mesothelioma in some individuals while others exposed to higher dosages never develop the disease. Lokey had served as a state trooper, where his duties included observing vehicle inspections wherein mechanics used compressed air to blow out brake debris to allow for visual inspection of the brakes. Despite this lack of certainty, we task juries with determining liability in multiple exposure mesothelioma cases. Given the current state of medical knowledge, we find the general approach described in comments a through e of section 27 to be more helpful in mesothelioma and more consistent with our case law. The term substantial contributing factor could be construed to mean any cause that is more than a merely de minimis factor. Before confirming, please ensure that you have thoroughly read and verified the judgment. The Restatement (Second) of Torts used substantial factor language, stating that, absent an independent but-for cause, “[i]f two forces are actively operating ... and each of itself is sufficient to bring about harm to another, [one] actor's negligence may be found to be a substantial factor in bringing it about.” Restatement (Second) of Torts § 432 (1965). i QUESTIONS PRESENTED 1. Virginia Supreme Court. There is no question of degree for either of these concepts. Bendix and Ford have timely appealed. Considering that his employment with the Commonwealth required him to be present at inspections which included the blowing out of brakes, and testimony that defendants were aware at the time that compressed air was used to blow out brake dust, the jury was entitled to conclude that Lokey's exposure to asbestos was foreseeable by Bendix and Ford and that a person in his position should have been warned. Specifically, they allege the absence of evidence sufficient to show that Lokey's behavior would have changed had the defendants offered sufficient warnings. It must be noted that there is a separate comment under § 27, entitled “Toxic substances and disease,” that appears to offer an alternative approach to causation specific to disease. Walter Boomer, the administrator of Lokey's estate, filed wrongful death actions against Honeywell International, Inc., the successor-in-interest to Bendix, and Ford Motor Company, alleging that Lokey's mesothelioma was a result of exposure to asbestos in dust from Bendix brakes installed in Ford and other vehicles. Genl. A reasonable jury could thus have found, based on this evidence, that the warning on the boxes was inadequate as to Lokey. of Supreme Court of Virginia opinions. The relevant facts as presented at trial were as follows: Lokey served as a Virginia State Trooper for 30 years. Reasonable jurors are entitled to utilize their own experiences, as well as evidence as to the character of the injured party and the known asbestos dangers at the time the warning should have been given, in order to draw conclusions as to the content of an adequate warning and whether Lokey would have heeded such a warning. Locke, 221 Va. at 957–58, 275 S.E.2d at 905. Once you create your profile, you will be able to: Claim the judgments where you have appeared by linking them directly to your profile and maintain a record of your body of work. Robinson (two cars collide and hit P) 17 Ford Motor Co. v. Boomer (asbestos - signature illness) 17 Wannall v. Honeywell International (asbestos - signature illness) 17 Alternative Causation 17 Summers v. Tice (hunting accident) 17 Sindell v. Abbott Labs (impact of prenatal meds on child) 18 2. 5 Richard M. Patterson, Lawyers' Medical Cyclopedia of Personal Injuries & Allied Specialties § 33.54, at 33–81 through 33–82 (6th ed. sufficient to h harm.â Id. The trial court instructed the jury on negligence and breach of warranty theories. This is, however, a distinction without a difference: if the jurors, after hearing the testimony and evidence, believe that a negligent exposure was more likely than not sufficient to have triggered the harm, then the defendant can be found liable in the same way that a jury can conclude that a driver in a multiple-car collision or the negligent party in one of two converging fires is liable. The phrase “substantial contributing factor” is not grounded, however, in the jurisprudence of this Court: we have not, in the history of our case law, ever invoked this language. Further complicating the issue, although numerous individuals were exposed to varying levels of asbestos during its widespread industrial use before safety measures became standard, not all persons exposed developed mesothelioma. Everything was to be done correctly.” The jury was provided with ample evidence to allow it to conclude that a reasonable person who was concerned for his or her safety and who, like Lokey, was inclined to follow recommended procedures and guidelines, would have heeded a warning had one been given. in the third district court of appeal of the state of florida northrop grumman systems corporation f/k/a northrop grumman corporation, as successor in interest to northrop For many years Lokey, a Virginia State Trooper, stood over mechanics using compressed air to blow out brake dust so that Lokey could perform visual inspection of vehiclesâ brakes. As we have held that substantial contributing factor causation is not a permissible standard for causation in the Commonwealth, the above assignment of error is no longer applicable. J. Tracy Walker, IV, Samuel L. Tarry, Jr., Richard C. Beaulieu, McGuire Woods, on briefs, for appellant Ford Motor Co. Ford closely guards its strategic, marketing, and product development plans. Established Virginia law indicates that in order for acts of negligence to constitute concurring causes, it is not necessary that concurring acts occur simultaneously. Moreover, we agree with the explicit rejection of substantial contributing factor language in the recent Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Physical and Emotional Harm (2010). “Substantial factor” language was also utilized in the Restatement (First) and Restatement (Second) of Torts. The Administrator of Lokey's estate presented circumstantial evidence as to the likely manufacturer of the brake linings at trial based on the testimony of a former assistant factory manager for Bendix in charge of “organic products” (including asbestos products). The witness testified that Bendix manufactured asbestos-containing friction products for brakes, including primary brake linings manufactured by Bendix that were approximately fifty percent asbestos material. Ford Motor Co. and Honeywell International Co. v. Boomer. In case of any confusion, feel free to reach out to us.Leave your message here. Creating your profile on CaseMine allows you to build your network with fellow lawyers and prospective clients. j. Plaintiff, Ford Motor Company, is an internationally-known automobile manufacturer. While it might be clearly seen in a car accident or converging fires that both acts contributed in some degree to the harm, the nature of mesothelioma leaves greater uncertainty as to which exposure or exposures in fact constituted the triggering event. For the foregoing reasons, we reverse and remand for further proceedings. change. Click here to remove this judgment from your profile. See also Schools v. Walker, 187 Va. 619, 629–30, 47 S.E.2d 418, 423 (1948) (“It is not essential, therefore, for a plaintiff to show that an act, claimed to have been the proximate cause ... was the only cause.... Where the concurring negligence of the two produces a single injury and each is its proximate cause they are both liable.”) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted); Carolina, C. & O. That variant definitions have arisen across those jurisdictions invoking substantial contributing factor causation are now rendered.. Witnesses Drs Prior Restraint Doctrine to the substantial contributing factor language as contrary to prevailing Virginia law to. Shifting that risk onto the other defendants contrary to prevailing Virginia law as to the contributing. One or more defendants are judgment-proof by shifting that risk onto the other defendants remand for further proceedings in. Also on five reason for the foregoing reasons, we find several problems with the substantial factor... 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