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August 19, 2006

3M Not Liable for Misuse of Dust Mask

The widow of James Triplett, a pipefitter who died of lung cancer, sued 3M claiming that her husband's cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos and that the company's dust mask did not adequately protect him against exposure to asbestos dust.  In its motion for summary judgment, 3M argued that its mask was not marketed for protection against toxic dust and was not defective.  The mask label warned that a MESA/NIOSH approved mask should be used to protect against toxic dust and vapors.

In Triplett v. Minnesota Mining and Mfg. Co., 422 F. Supp. 2d 779 (W.D. Ky. 2006), the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky ruled for 3M saying: "We reject the notion that the 8500 mask was defective because it did not provide protection against exposures beyond those for which the product was designed."  The court also ruled that the company had no duty to warn against using the mask while removing asbestos because Triplett's employer was a "sophisticated intermediary" who had been adequately warned by the product manufacturer and who had the duty of ensuring proper respiratory protection for its employees.

JDP

August 19, 2006 | Permalink

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