Asbestos Claims Head to High Court for Review

     (CN) – The Supreme Court agreed Monday to review the pre-emption finding that led to the dismissal of asbestos claims against a railroad company.

     A three-judge panel of the 3rd Circuit ruled in September 2010 that the Locomotive Inspection Act pre-empted allegations against Viad Corp. and Railroad Friction Products Corp., as filed by Gloria Gail Kurns and Freida E. Jung Corson on behalf of their decedent, George Corson.
     The women claimed that George Corson developed fatal mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos while working on trains, removing insulation from boilers and installing brake shoes.
     According to the lawsuit, Railroad Friction Products manufactured and sold the brake pads containing asbestos, and Viad is the successor in interest to a company that manufactured asbestos-containing engine valves. Another 57 defendants successfully tossed the charges against them by arguing that there was insufficient evidence linking their products to George Corson’s exposure to asbestos.
     Eventually the District Court granted the two remaining defendants summary judgment, finding that federal law pre-empted the claims, and the 3rd Circuit affirmed.

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