Washington Supreme Court Rules That Equipment Manufacturers Have No Duty to Warn of Dangers Posed by Products They Did Not Manufacture or Sell

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On December 11, 2008, the Washington Supreme Court issued opinions in two asbestos cases that presented the issue whether manufacturers of naval equipment, such as pumps, valves and evaporators, owed a duty under common law products liability or negligence to warn of the dangers posed by asbestos-containing insulation, gaskets and packing, materials they neither manufactured nor sold but that were used in conjunction with their naval equipment. The Court's decisions were issued in Braaten v. Saberhagen Holdings, Inc. et al. and Simonetta v. Viad Corporation, et al.1 In both cases the Supreme Court held that the equipment manufacturers did not owe a duty to warn of the dangers of asbestos-containing products that they did not manufacture, sell or otherwise place into the stream of commerce.

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