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November 2018 Archives

Estate of Concetta Schatz v. John Crane, Inc. - Maryland Intermediate Appellate Court Holds Maryland Imposes No Duty on a Manufacturer to Warn a Household Member of a Worker Who Used the Manufacturer's Product

The case involved a mesothelioma claim brought by the estate of Concetta Schatz against John Crane, Inc. (hereinafter "JCI") (other defendants had been sued but had been dismissed or had resolved before trial). The estate claimed that Mrs. Schatz developed mesothelioma as a result of washing her husband's clothing.  Her husband, William Schatz, was employed as a mechanic, working on turbines and boilers at a power plant and, during the course of working on boilers, Mr. Schatz routinely replaced the rope packing around the various doors and openings in the boilers.  Mr. Schatz and the other repairmen replaced the damaged packing with JCI rope, creating dust in the process.  Further evidence showed that, from 1930 until 1985, JCI's rope contained sixty percent chrysotile asbestos.  Mr. Schatz took his dirty work clothes home for his wife to wash and, approximately every other day, Mrs. Schatz would shake out the work clothes and wash them, breathing in dust as she did so.  Trial proceeded before a jury but, at the conclusion of all the evidence, the court granted JCI's motion for judgment, holding that JCI did not owe a duty to Mrs. Schatz.  

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