• Asbestos Litigation History Part 3 Strict Liability Introduced By Asbestos Litigation into US Legal System

    Part 3 of the Beginning of Asbestos Litigation: Introduction of Strict Liability into Legal System via Mesothelioma Asbestos Claims


    For More on the Story, Read The Rest of the Asbestos Litigation Story at:

    Part 4 of Asbestos Litigation

    For over 30 years, starting in 1936, Borel who was a father of 6 and devoted husband labored in the refineries and shipyards along Texas’ Louisiana state border. He worked in the area of steam pip insulations, industrial boilers as well as other high-temp equipment which made use of products chalked full of asbestos. By 1965, long-term exposure of a constant nature in the presence of asbestos started to severely weaken and slow down Borel's 2 lungs, which made him experience major chest pain. This naturally made his job of breathing very difficult. Winter of ‘69, an advanced stage of asbestosis was diagnosed.

    In the following spring, Clarence Borel filed with workers' comp an injury claim which he suffered at his job. Eventually settling his worker’s compensation claim to the tune of only $13,000, he met with an attorney regarding pursuit of additional financial compensation for damages from his injuries through the legal system instead of just worker’s compensation. Borel was suffering under ongoing medical assistance costs and was also unable to adequately provide proper support for his large family. His lawyer Stephenson moved forward with this founding asbestos injury suit in Texas courts naming the 11 manufacturers of asbestos products over the entire United States. Damages amounted to $1,000,000 for injuries and medical costs sustained by Borel.
    Borel v. Fireboard eventually turned into a $73K win for Borel in ‘73, yet Borel never even was able to live to hear final US Court disposition at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, dying June of 1970 from asbestos-related mesothelioma.

    This lawsuit was the founding and groundbreaking situation where an asbestos-product manufacturer was determined by a jury to be responsible for deadly injuries which were caused from asbestos product exposure. This lawsuit was assisted from 2separate things out of 1964 and 1965. In 1964 medical results from Doctor Selikoff, Doctor Hammond and Doctor Churg. Their medical findings conclusively showed that asbestos exposure did cause the damage to Borel’s and others’ lungs and the Mesothelioma disease was clearly linked to the asbestos cause. These facts of medical research were introduced by Stephenson as medical asbestos evidence.

    Following this event came an event occurring in 1965 in which a publication from ALI under the title Restatement [of] Torts, in which it was declared strict liability was alive in the legal system of American Courts. With this introduction of the legal doctrine strict liability, the American Law Institute explained that those unsafe products which included proper warning as well as safe handling directions would no be included in the strict liability umbrella. So when courts determined that manufacturers of asbestos-containing products understood and knew of the asbestos' medical dangers from exposure yet did not appropriately warn their workers who came into contact with the substance, floodgates of litigation waves opened and quickly became the biggest tort litigation suits in US history.

    For the Previous Part of the Story, Read The Previous Asbestos Litigation Article at:

    Part 2 of the Beginning of Asbestos Litigation: Father of Asbestos Litigation Ward Stephenson Perseveres
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