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Clarifying Media Reports Regarding Maryland Law and Causation in Asbestos Exposure Cases

by Gordon S. Woodward
Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP - Washington Office

August 7, 2013

Previously published on August 2013

It has been recently reported in Law360 that the Court of Appeals of Maryland, in Dixon v. Ford Motor Co., No. 82, 2013 Md. LEXIS 465 (Md. July 25, 2013), broke with established precedent and endorsed the “any exposure” theory of asbestos causation. See Law360, July 26, 2013, “Md. Court OKs ‘Any Exposure’ Asbestos Theory In Ford Case.” This conclusion misconstrues the Court’s decision. In fact, the Court of Appeals, Maryland’s highest court, continues to endorse “substantial-factor causation.” As the court notes, “the ... ‘frequency, regularity, and proximity’ test remains ‘the common law evidentiary standard used for establishing substantial-factor causation in negligence cases alleging asbestos exposure.’” Dixon, 2013 Md. LEXIS 465, at 18 (quoting Scapa v. Saville, 418 Md. 496, 503, 16 A.3d 159, 163 (2011)). As a result, any entity defending asbestos claims in Maryland should continue to consider, in appropriate circumstances, defenses based on substantial-factor causation.


The views expressed in this document are solely the views of the author and not Martindale-Hubbell. This document is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.

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