Expanded 'Sophisticated User’ Defense Nixed In Asbestos Suit

Law360, Los Angeles (October 29, 2013, 10:56 PM EDT) -- John Crane Inc. cannot escape liability for claims that its industrial products contributed to a former Navy technician’s asbestos-related cancer just because the Navy should have known the products’ risks, a California appeals court ruled Tuesday, finding an employer’s special knowledge isn’t automatically imputed to employees.

John Crane sought to invoke the “sophisticated user” product liability defense to toss a $21 million award, claiming that employees of someone who is well-trained and knew or should have known about a product’s dangers should be considered just as...
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