Segal McCambridge Attorneys, Jason Kennedy And Adam Jagadich, Win Appeal In Toxic Tort Household Exposure Case


January 16, 2008

Segal McCambridge attorneys, Jason Kennedy and Adam Jagadich, successfully defended MidAmerican Energy Company on appeal to the Iowa Court of Appeals.  The Iowa Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court's analysis that there is no duty from the premises owner to the spouse of an independent contractor's employee and affirmed MidAmerican's motion for summary judgment.  A copy of the opinion can be found by clicking here.

Plaintiff's claims were based on alleged household exposure to asbestos fibers brought home on the clothes of a retired ironworker, Mr. Van Fossen.  Mr. Van Fossen was employed by two independent contractors hired by MidAmerican Energy Company and Interstate Power and Light Company to perform construction and maintenance on an electrical generating station.  Plaintiff claimed that while working at the station, he was exposed to asbestos-containing products and that he brought asbestos fiber home on his clothes and exposed his wife to asbestos.  Plaintiff filed suit against defendants for the wrongful death of his wife, claiming she contracted peritoneal mesothelioma, a fatal cancer of the lining of the abdominal cavity, due to alleged household exposure to asbestos.  In a 128-page order, the district court granted MidAmerican's motion of summary judgment that the defendants did not owe a duty to the spouse of an employee of an independent contractor.  On appeal, the Iowa Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court's analysis and affirmed the finding of no duty.