Franklin v. USX Corp.
California Court of Appeal
105 Cal. Rptr. 2d 11 (2001)
Jeannette Franklin and her husband Darrel Franklin (plaintiffs) filed an action against USX Corporation (USX) (defendant) based on personal injury, premises liability, and loss of consortium. The Franklins alleged that Mrs. Franklin, now deceased, had contracted an asbestos-caused cancer due to childhood exposure to asbestos brought home by her parents, who had worked at the Western Pipe & Steel Shipyard (WPS) during World War II. In 1945, the assets of WPS were purchased by Consolidated Steel Corporation of California (Con Cal), and Con Cal agreed to assume all of WPS’s liabilities. Several years later, Con Cal sold the transferred assets for over $17,000,000 to Consolidated Western Steel Corporation of Delaware (Con Del), which later merged with U.S. Steel and changed its name to USX. The Franklins alleged that USX was the successor in interest to WPS, and sought to hold USX liable. The trial court found that USX was the successor in interest to WPS and liable for any damages caused by WPS. A jury later returned a verdict for damages in excess of $5,000,000 against USX. USX appealed the trial court’s decision that USX was the successor in interest to WPS.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Walker, J.)
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