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Morton v. Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp.

33 Cal. App. 4th 1529, 40 Cal. Rptr. 2d 22 (1995)

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Morton v. Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp.

California Court of Appeal

33 Cal. App. 4th 1529, 40 Cal. Rptr. 2d 22 (1995)

Facts

Robert and Pamela Morton (plaintiffs) filed a strict products liability action against Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corporation (Owens-Corning) (defendant) and others for damages arising from Robert’s exposure to asbestos containing products and his development of mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused form of cancer. For approximately three years, Robert worked as a wireman, installing cable on board ships, at the New York Shipbuilding Yard in New Jersey. Nearly thirty years after he had stopped working at the shipyard Robert developed chest pains and flu-like symptoms. Robert was later diagnosed as having mesothelioma. The trial court bifurcated the trial with the issue of damages being tried first. At the liability phase, the Mortons utilized the consumer expectations test to prove that the Owens-Corning product was defective. Owens-Corning filed a motion for nonsuit claiming the consumer expectations test was not applicable. The trial court disagreed, denied the motion, and the jury found Owens-Corning liable and responsible for 12 percent of the damages. Owens-Corning appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Haerle, J.)

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