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Owens-Illinois v. Armstrong

591 A.2d 544 (1991)

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Owens-Illinois v. Armstrong

Maryland Court of Special Appeals

591 A.2d 544 (1991)

Facts

Frederick Stormer and Dominic Celozzi (plaintiffs) worked with or near asbestos-containing insulation products for many years. Stormer, Celozzi, and two other plaintiffs brought personal-injury claims against various companies that manufactured, installed, or supplied asbestos-containing insulation products, including Owens-Illinois, Inc. (collectively, the asbestos companies) (defendants). The cases were consolidated. At trial, Stormer and Celozzi introduced evidence that they had developed pleural plaques and pleural thickening and suffered from asbestosis as a result of asbestos exposure. The medical experts testified that although pleural plaques and pleural thickening are alterations of healthy pleura, they do not shorten life expectancy or cause pain, disability, or symptoms. The trial judge instructed the jury that damages could not be awarded solely because of pleural plaques or thickening and that the jury had to find in favor of the asbestos companies if the jury found that neither Stormer nor Celozzi suffered from asbestosis. The jury returned a verdict for the asbestos companies. Stormer and Celozzi appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in instructing the jury that damages could not be awarded solely because of pleural plaques or pleural thickening.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bishop, J.)

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