Judge Allows Take-Home Exposure Asbestos Lawsuit to Move Forward
On July 26, 2013, Kazan, McClain, Satterley, Lyons, Greenwood & Oberman were pleased that justice was achieved for the wife of a retired Bay Area ironworker when an Alameda County Superior Court judge allowed her take-home exposure asbestos lawsuit to move forward to trial by jury.
Donald LeBoa worked for hundreds of days on the construction of the Bank of America high rise building in San Francisco in the late 1960’s. The project involved a continuous sweeping of dry oversprayed fireproofing in the building, which caused large amounts of asbestos-containing dust to become airborne.
The asbestos in the air fell on everyone in the area, including Mr. LeBoa, whose work clothes became covered with asbestos dust. Mr. LeBoa wore his work clothes home every day and his wife washed them. Mrs. LeBoa shook out the dust from her husband’s clothes before putting them in the washing machine with the rest of the laundry.
Mrs. LeBoa was diagnosed in 2012 with mesothelioma, a fatal cancer. The asbestos on her husband’s work clothes caused Mrs. LeBoa’s mesothelioma.
The sweeping work that created the asbestos dust that fell onto Mr. LeBoa’s work clothes was performed by a company called Cahill. Cahill did not try to control the asbestos dust in the building nor did Cahill warn anyone of its risks.
Mrs. LeBoa sought compensation from Cahill, along with other defendants, in a take-home exposure asbestos lawsuit for its role in causing her harm. Cahill asked the court to dismiss the case, arguing that a person exposed to deadly dust tracked into her home should have no right to file a lawsuit. Judge Jo-Lynne Q. Lee disagreed with Cahill and allowed Mrs. LeBoa’s case to move forward. The judge’s order explained, “Cahill has not made a sufficient legal argument to induce this court to establish a new rule of law and grant it summary judgment under that new rule.”
Trial for this take-home exposure asbestos lawsuit begins on August 13, 2013 against Cahill and the other defendants. (LeBoa v. Alta Building Material Co., et al., Alameda County Superior Court, No. RG13667129)