Blurred Lines: The Interplay of Duty and Foreseeability

Articles & Publications

November 1, 2005

When employees leave for the day, are an employer's worries over? Does the employer need to call ahead to warn others that the employee is on their way home? State courts around the country are overseeing a growing number of lawsuits alleging that an employer or premises owner owes a duty of care to warn individuals—specifically individuals who may have never set foot in the workplace or on the property—of the hazards associated with asbestos. In most of the scenarios popping up around the country, the plaintiff is a spouse or family member exposed from either laundering or other forms of contact with asbestos-contaminated clothing the employee has brought home from work. Employers and premises owners can take comfort from the recent unanimous decision of New York State's highest court, the Court of Appeals, in such a case.

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