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US Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh hearing asbestos exposure case

The newest of the nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices, Brett Kavanaugh, was set to hear his first cases on the high court this week. One of the cases involves an asbestos exposure situation. It is a complicated products liability case that was filed by two Navy widows. Asbestos-related illnesses and injuries are problematic in Minnesota and throughout the nation; many of those adversely affected are people who used to work in shipyards.  

In the case that was presented to the court earlier this week, two Navy widows filed a lawsuit against a company that manufactured equipment in the naval yard where their now deceased husbands once worked. The women say their spouses contracted cancer due to asbestos exposure while working with that equipment. The defendant in the case has acknowledged that it is indeed the manufacturer of the equipment in question.  

However, the company has also stated that although it made the equipment, another company added the insulation, which contained the asbestos that likely caused the men's illnesses. The question the U.S. justices are posed to answer is whether or not the defendant could be held legally accountable under maritime law for a product it did not distribute, sell or manufacture. As is often the case, the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court case may have great impact on future cases throughout the nation.  

There is no such thing as a safe amount of asbestos exposure. Many Minnesota school buildings, factories, railroads and even homes are loaded with the microscopic fibers that can be become lodged in people's lungs when they breathe air contaminated with asbestos or ingest it. If a person is concerned about a particular situation, he or she can consult with an attorney who is experienced in asbestos litigation. 

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