Supreme Court rules Navy contractors must warn about asbestos exposure

Navy contractors have a duty to warn about asbestos exposure in products they know will require asbestos, even if they did not produce the material but knew it would be added later, the Supreme Court ruled in a divided decision.

The case was filed by the families of two Navy sailors who developed cancer and died as a result of asbestos exposure. The companies involved in the suit manufactured pumps, blowers, turbines and other equipment. The asbestos was added later by companies that are now bankrupt.

“A manufacturer has a duty to warn when its product requires incorporation of a part and the manufacturer has reason to know that the integrated product is likely to be dangerous,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh said.

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Steve Koek is the Digital Marketing Manager at Cooney & Conway, and is responsible for the administration of the firm's web site and social media platforms. He can be reached at skoek@cooneyconway.com or through LinkedIn