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Justice Barry Albin - Photo by Carmen Natale/ALM New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Barry Albin/photo by Carmen Natale/ALM

In a products liability case with potential major ramifications, a divided New Jersey Supreme Court determined there was no distinction between original parts by manufacturers and distributors that contain asbestos and replacement parts containing the same by a third party that caused injury, and ultimately death, to a decades-long plumber—and so the manufacturer and distributor had a duty to warn of the dangers of both parts.

In a 5-2 decision, the court upheld an August 2018 appellate panel ruling in favor of plaintiff Arthur Whelan, who died from mesothelioma. There, Appellate Division Judge Heidi Currier found that Whelan had “presented sufficient evidence detailing his exposure to asbestos,” either from defendants’ original or replacement components or from a third party’s replacement components, to withstand summary judgment.

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Suzette Parmley

Trenton Correspondent who covers the N.J. Supreme Court, Governor, Legislature. She also contributes to The Legal Intelligencer and law.com. Suzette joined New Jersey Law Journal in Jan. 2019 from the Philadelphia Inquirer where she was a former Trenton Statehouse Correspondent and Business Reporter/Columnist. Awards: 1st Place for 2020 coverage of NJ Supreme Court; 2019 Specialized Writing Category, 5-time winner of the Business Financial Writing Portfolio Award from the New Jersey Press Association. Graduate of the Fels Center of Government/University of Pennsylvania. Email: [email protected] or follow on Twitter: @SuzParmley

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