Delaware Court Uses Ohio Law to Grant Summary Judgment for Asbestos Supplier

DELAWARE – The plaintiff, Marianne Robinson, brought failure to warn and strict liability claims against Union Carbide Corporation (UCC). She alleged that UCC sold its Calidria asbestos to Georgia Pacific (GP) for use in their joint compound products for a period of time. Finally, the plaintiff alleged that her late husband, Jack Robinson, purchased and used GP’s Ready Mix products in Ohio between 1971 and 1982, which caused or contributed to his fatal lung cancer.

UCC moved for summary judgment. Applying Ohio law, the court granted the motion and found that UCC had no duty to warn Robinson about the dangers of its Calidria product. There were no genuine issues of material fact regarding GP’s status as a sophisticated intermediary, the sufficiency of UCC’s warnings to GP, or UCC’s reasonable reliance on GP to warn Robinson. Regarding the plaintiff’s strict liability claims, the court found that GP had multiple sources from which it acquired asbestos for its products. As the evidence only supported a possibility of exposure to UCC’s Calidria, not a probability of exposure, a trier of fact would be left to impermissibly speculate regarding the material issue of exposure.

Read the case decision here.