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Georgia-Pacific Corp. v. Bostic

Texas Court of Appeals
2010 Tex. App. LEXIS 7072 (2010)


Facts

Timothy Bostic grew up helping his father with drywall work. From as early as age five, Bostic learned to mud and sand the joint compound smoothing the seams between sheets of drywall. The Bostics used joint compound manufactured by Georgia-Pacific Corporation (defendant) 98 percent of the time. From 1967 to 1977, Georgia-Pacific’s joint compound contained asbestos. Bostic also worked with other asbestos-containing brands of joint compound. At age 40, Bostic was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Mesothelioma was a form of cancer closely associated with exposure to asbestos. Bostic died the next year. Bostic’s family (plaintiffs) sued Georgia-Pacific and several other companies for Bostic’s wrongful death. All the defendants besides Georgia-Pacific settled with Bostic’s family or were dismissed from the suit. At trial, an expert witness testified regarding the causation of Bostic’s mesothelioma. However, the expert stated that he could not give the opinion that Bostic would not have developed cancer absent exposure specifically to Georgia-Pacific’s asbestos-containing joint compound. A jury found in favor of Bostic’s family, awarding it more than $13.5 million in damages. Georgia-Pacific appealed. On appeal, Georgia-Pacific argued that there was no evidence that Bostic was exposed to Georgia-Pacific’s asbestos-containing joint compounds, and that Bostic’s family failed to prove that Georgia-Pacific’s joint compound was a substantial factor in Bostic’s death.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fillmore, J.)

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