Suttner v. Crane Co.
- Case Date: 6/19/2015
- Project Name: Civil Justice Reform
On June 28, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision holding valve manufacturer liable for failing to warn end users about asbestos dangers posed by replacement parts manufactured and installed by third parties. The decision was a setback for WLF, which filed a brief filed in the case arguing that, under settled principles of product liability law, a manufacturer has no duty to warn absent evidence that it actively influenced what products should be used in connection with the product it placed into the stream of commerce. The case arose from a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the Estate of Gerald Suttner against Crane Company (and others), alleging that Suttner was exposed to asbestos-containing materials many years ago as a pipefitter. At trial, it was shown that Suttner’s asbestos exposure came from handling replacement gaskets and packing for Crane’s valves, not from the valve itself. Nonetheless, the jury awarded the plaintiff $3 million in damages.
More Information and Downloads:
6/19/2015: Download the Brief