Court: San Francisco asbestos victims can sue machine manufacturerA California appeals court ruled recently that a group of San Francisco lawsuits filed by asbestos victims against the manufacturer of brake shoe grinding machines can be reinstated, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
According to the news source, the asbestos lawsuits were filed by a former mechanic who developed asbestosis as well as the families of three victims who died of asbestos-related diseases in 2007 and 2008. Such illnesses include lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that attacks the tissues surrounding a majority of the body's internal organs.
In each of the lawsuits, plaintiffs claim the asbestos came from the emissions of brake shoe linings from grinding machines manufactured by Hennessy Industries, according to the media outlet.
The First District Court of Appeal reinstated the lawsuits based on the premise that the machines were intended to grind brake linings, which inevitably led to the release of asbestos fibers.
"When used as designed and intended, Hennessy's machines caused the release of the toxic agent," Presiding Justice Barbara Jones said in the ruling.
An appellate court in Los Angeles is reportedly scheduled to rule on Hennessy's claim that the machines could not have cause asbestos-related diseases, the news source said.