Asbestos Liability Unlikely For Replacement Parts

Law360, New York (March 3, 2009, 12:00 AM EST) -- For several years, plaintiff’s lawyers have touted the manufacturers of mechanical equipment such as pumps and valves as the “next wave” of asbestos defendants, despite these companies having never manufactured the asbestos-containing components for which they were arguably liable.[1]

With asbestos litigation having nearly bankrupted the original targets of plaintiffs’ lawsuits, the risks faced by equipment manufacturers have been considerable.

Plaintiffs’ recent focus on these defendants has forced courts to grapple with issues that would stretch the theory of vicarious liability to its natural breaking point....
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