By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
Arizona companies have no duty to protect family members from exposure to toxic materials their employees bring home on their work clothes, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
In the first ruling of its kind in Arizona, the judges rejected the contention of survivors of Ernest Quiroz that Reynolds Metal Co. should be held legally responsible for his battle with mesothelioma, a form of cancer frequently associated with asbestos exposure, and his eventual death.
Appellate Judge Jon Thompson, writing for the unanimous court, acknowledged that some states have allowed lawsuits based on “take-home exposure.” But Thompson said that’s not the way Arizona laws are written.
Given that this issue has never before been decided in Arizona, the fight may not yet be over. There is a good chance the parties may appeal and that the Supreme Court would consider the same. That said, if the public disagrees with the outcome in this case, the proper means of effecting change is to get the legislature to change the laws to allow for broader recovery in situations like this.
~ Evan Bolick