Sunday April 21st, 2024 11:36AM

Ga. Supreme Court deals blow to asbestos lawsuits against CSX

By The Associated Press
<p>The state Supreme Court has dealt a setback to four plaintiffs suing CSX Transportation Inc. in a case involving people who said they suffered asbestos-related illnesses from breathing fumes from the work clothes of employees of the railroad.</p><p>In a unanimous decision issued Monday, the court ruled that Georgia's negligence law does not impose any duty on an employer to a third-party who is not an employee of that company who comes into contact with an employee's asbestos-tainted work clothing away from the workplace.</p><p>The decision sends the case back for further consideration by the U.S. District Court, where the lawsuits were filed, said Supreme Court spokesman Richard Diguette. Lawyers for CSX and the plaintiffs did not immediately return calls seeking comment Monday.</p><p>Three of the four plaintiffs brought suit under Georgia's negligence law based on their claim that each was exposed at home as a child to airborne asbestos emitting from the clothing his father wore while working at the railroad, and that this exposure contributed to their asbestos-related disease.</p><p>The fourth plaintiff brought a wrongful death action under the same law based on his late wife's exposure at home to asbestos on clothes he wore to work at the railroad.</p><p>CSX Transportation filed a request for summary judgment in each case, arguing that the "clothing exposure" claims are not covered under the law in question. The federal court denied the motion. A federal appeals court then asked Georgia's Supreme Court to address the question of whether the state's negligence law covers the claims in the suits.</p><p>CSX Transportation Inc. provides rail transportation services in 23 states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces. Its parent company is CSX Corp. of Jacksonville, Fla.</p>
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