• Premises Owners Not Liable for "Take Home Exposures" Under PA Law
  • October 31, 2014 | Author: Timothy D. Rau
  • Law Firm: Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C. - Philadelphia Office
  • In what was ruled to be an issue of first impression under Pennsylvania law, Judge Eduardo Robreno of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that a premises owner has no duty to an employee's spouse to protect the spouse from exposure to asbestos in the context of "take-home exposure" cases.

    In Marilyn Gillen v. The Boeing Co., et al., 2:13-cv-03118, plaintiff alleged that she developed mesothelioma, in part, as a result of exposure to asbestos from her husband's work clothes while he was employed by Boeing. Boeing moved to dismiss the portions of plaintiff's claims related to her take-home exposure on the basis that she was owed no legal duty under Pennsylvania law.

    Recognizing that plaintiff's take-home claims were based in negligence and that there was no precedent under PA law, Judge Robreno considered a number of factors including: (1) the relationship of the parties; (2) the social utility of the actor's conduct; (3) the nature of the risk imposed and forseeability of the harm incurred; (4) the consequences of imposing a duty on the actor; and (5) the public interest in the proposed solution.

    Judge Robreno held that Boeing owed no duty to Mrs. Gillen for her claim for "take-home exposure" to asbestos and granted Boeing's motion to dismiss. The case was permitted to proceed on other asserted claims and is currently being litigated.