A lawsuit involving BNSF Railway Company was recently resolved earlier this month. The company was sued in Los Angeles County District Court for the death of Lynn Haver, who contracted mesothelioma from secondary asbestos exposure.
Lynn’s husband, Mike Haver, was a BNSF Railway employee who was exposed to many asbestos-laced products and equipment at work. Asbestos is a tiny, fibrous mineral that often lingers in the air and can cling to clothes. Asbestos has been linked to a variety of ailments, including mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer.
The lawsuit against BNSF alleges that Lynn was exposed to Mike’s asbestos-carrying clothing, tools, vehicles, and general surroundings, which caused her throat cancer and progressive lung disease, which ultimately killed her.
The lawsuit involving Lynn’s death was a premises liability lawsuit. Under California law, property owners are not liable for premises liability claims based on secondary asbestos exposure claims of workers’ family members.
Premises liability claims are based on the notion that a property owner had a “duty of care” to a plaintiff. In this case, the court found that BNSF owed no duty of care to Lynn, and could therefore not be held liable for her mesothelioma.