by Michael J. Ellis
February 12, 2014
For decades, asbestos cases have wound their way through courts. The first wave of cases, starting in the 1970s, was brought by construction workers and other plaintiffs who were directly exposed to asbestos. Thirty years later, a second wave of lawsuits alleges that new plaintiffs were exposed to asbestos through the contaminated work clothing of family members. Georgia Pacific LLC v. Farrar was part of that second wave of “take-home” asbestos cases. Based on the Second Restatement of Torts, the Maryland Court of Appeals reasoned in Farrar that “[a] manufacturer cannot warn of dangers that were not known to it or knowable in light of the generally recognized and prevailing scientific and technical knowledge available at the time of manufacture and distribution.” In this light, the Maryland decision represents a significant step to limit future “take-home” asbestos claims.