The asbestos plaintiffs’ and defense bars are anticipating a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court on the causation standard for asbestos exposure cases. On February 15, 2013, the Texas Supreme Court granted a petition for review in Georgia-Pacific Corp. v. Bostic, 320 S.W.3d 588 (Tex. App. 2010), wherein the trial court entered a judgment awarding the plaintiff nearly $12 million in damages due to alleged exposure to asbestos in Georgia-Pacific’s joint compound. Upon review, the Texas Court of Appeals held that, based on the causation standard set forth in Borg-Warner v. Flores, 232 S.W. 3d 765 (Tex. 2007), plaintiff had failed to prove exposure to a Georgia-Pacific product in amounts sufficient to increase plaintiff’s risk of developing mesothelioma. The 2007 Borg-Warner decision rejected the argument that any exposure to a defendant’s asbestos satisfied the plaintiff’s burden of proof. Borg-Warner set forth the requirement that exposure to a defendant’s asbestos must be a substantial factor in causing the disease complained of.
Oral arguments were held on September 9, 2013, before the Texas Supreme Court, Case No. 10-0775.
For more information, copies of the briefs, and audio and video clips of the oral argument, see www.supremecourts.state.tx.us, or contact Toni Ellington at (504) 599-8500.