Wisconsin Appeals Court Allows Asbestos Case To Proceed Under Safe Place Statute


Robert Viola was a pipe insulator for 25 years, often working in buildings and power plants owned by Wisconsin Electric Power Company (“WEPCO”). After Mr. Viola died, the administrator of his estate brought a lawsuit against WEPCO, claiming that the company allowed Mr. Viola to work in the presence of asbestos, which caused his death. The lawsuit alleged that WEPCO violated Wisconsin’s Safe Place Statute, which requires employers to furnish a safe place of employment. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of WEPCO, ruling that the estate’s claim involved alleged negligent acts of operation, which are not covered by the Safe Place Statute. The Court of Appeals of Wisconsin reversed the trial court decision, holding that the presence of asbestos dust at WEPCO’s properties was an unsafe condition associated with the structure, something that is covered by the Safe Place Statute. The case will now proceed to trial.

Topics:  Asbestos, Asbestos Litigation, Hazardous Substances, Toxic Exposure, Workplace Hazards, Workplace Safety

Published In: Personal Injury Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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