In Taylor v. Union Carbide Corporation, 147 Wn. App. 1017, 2008 WL 4788245, the Court of Appeals held that the trial court committed legal error in granting summary judgment to asbestos miner and manufacturer Union Carbide Corporation. Union Carbide argue that because it supplied asbestos to drywall joint compound manufacturers who also bought asbestos from other suppliers, Union Carbide could not be liable to the Taylors. The trial court agreed and dismissed the case.
Bergman Draper & Frockt appealed that ruling, and prevailed on appeal November 4, 2008. The Court of Appeals found that there was sufficient evidence that Mr. David Taylor had been exposed to Union Carbide’s asbestos fibers when he worked with and around Hamilton and Georgia Pacific joint compounds at his work sites in Tacoma in 1972 and 1973. The Court rejected Union Carbide’s argument that Mr. Taylor would have to prove that Union Carbide was the “exclusive” supplier of asbestos fiber to prevail on his claims, and instead allowed the case to proceed to a jury trial even if Union Carbide was one of many different manufacturers who supplied toxic asbestos to other companies for incorporation into their products. Jury selection in the trial against Union Carbide and two other defendants begins in December of 2010 in Pierce County.