Asbestos, Mesothelioma, General Electric & Woo

asbestos fibers

The Asbestos, Mesothelioma, General Electric & Woo case is about a Washington world war II veteran – a machinist and engineer – that alleges that he was exposed to asbestos while doing work involving on board Navy destroyers that contained GE steam turbines.  Woo alleges that the GE steam turbines required the use of thermal heat insulation, gaskets, and packing to properly function and GE knew only asbestos-containing insulation, gaskets, and packing were available) and believes it is related to his mesothelioma.

The Asbestos, Mesothelioma, General Electric & Woo case, in the Court of Appeals Washington, Division One recently reversed a summary judgment motion.

A brief summary of the ruling in the Asbestos, Mesothelioma, General Electric & Woo case includes:

  • Yuen Wing Woo served in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946.
  • During World War II, Woo worked as a machinist aboard the destroyer USS George K. MacKenzie.  After the war, Woo joined the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS).
  • Woo worked as a third assistant engineer aboard the cargo ship USNS PVT John R. Towle from December 1949 to February 1950.
  • Woo worked aboard the USNS James O’Hara from March 1951 until January 1952.
  • General Electric Company (GE) designed, manufactured, and supplied the steam turbines in the 1940s and 1950s that were used aboard the USS MacKenzie, USNS Towle, and USNS O’Hara.
  • Woo died of mesothelioma in 2009.
  • As a general rule under common law and strict liability principles, a manufacturer does not have a duty to warn of the hazards of a product the manufacturer did not place in the stream of commerce. But there are exceptions to this general rule.
  • Reasonable inferences from the evidence show that in the 1940s and 1950s, GE steam turbines required the use of thermal heat insulation, gaskets, and packing to properly function and GE knew only asbestos-containing insulation, gaskets, and packing were available.
  • The evidence also creates the reasonable inference that Woo was exposed not only to asbestos-containing insulation and packing but also gaskets originally supplied by GE.
  • We reverse summary judgment dismissal and remand for trial.
  • For more on the case, please visit this link – Asbestos, Mesothelioma, General Electric & Woo

For more on some related topics, please follow these links: asbestos, asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma and pleural plaques


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