With an estimated 12,000-15,000 Americans dying from asbestos exposure every year, asbestos liability continues as an active area of litigation. However, as many asbestos manufacturers have declared bankruptcy, asbestos attorneys are seeking to expand litigation to include manufacturers such as Air & Liquid Systems, Corp.

While their “bare metal” products were used in conjunction with asbestos, Air & Liquid Systems did not manufacture, sell, or distribute any asbestos products. But does this distance from the chain of distribution protect Air & Liquid Systems from liability under maritime law?

Justin Torres, a senior associate at King & Spalding, discusses product liability and maritime law in the case Air and Liquid Systems v. Devries. Oral argument is October 10, 2018.

As always, the Federalist Society takes no particular legal or public policy positions. All opinions expressed are those of the speaker.

Learn more about Justin Torres:
https://www.kslaw.com/people/justin-torres

 

Differing Views:

SCOTUSblog: “Argument preview: Maritime dispute presents opportunity for justices to grapple with basic tort rules”
http://www.scotusblog.com/2018/10/argument-preview-maritime-dispute-presents-opportunity-for-justices-to-grapple-with-basic-tort-rules/

Hoover Institution: “An Ill-Conceived New Wave of Asbestos Liability”
https://www.hoover.org/research/ill-conceived-new-wave-asbestos-liability

Washington Legal Foundation: “Air & Liquid Systems Corp. v. Devries: Asbestos Litigation’s ‘Bare Metals’ Defense Goes Before the U.S. Supreme Court”
https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/washlegal-uploads/upload/legalstudies/legalbackgrounder/06222018LB_SchneiderHooe.pdf

Bloomberg Law Big Law Business: “Supreme Court Takes Up Asbestos ‘Bare-Metal Defense’”
https://biglawbusiness.com/supreme-court-takes-up-asbestos-bare-metal-defense/

Torpedoing the Uniformity or Maritime Law: American Dredging v. Miller
https://scholarship.richmond.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=2113&context=lawreview

Willamette University Law: Case Summary
https://willamette.edu/law/resources/journals/wlo/scotuscg/2018/05/air-and-liquid-systems-corp.-v.-devries-.html