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The New Jersey Supreme Court recently extended the duty landowners owe to workers for the foreseeable risk of asbestos exposure to their spouses based on the foreseeable risk of exposure from asbestos dust carried home on contaminated work clothing. This ruling, in direct contradiction with ruling in other states such as New York and Georgia is believed to the first of its kind anywhere in the United States.

According to

After explaining that premises liability law in New Jersey must be applied with “flexibility” to deter conduct “that creates an unreasonable risk of injury,” the Olivo court addressed itself to the principles and policies behind the foreseeability concept to conclude that ExxonMobil owed Mrs. Olivo a duty.

Under New Jersey law, it said, foreseeability is “a determinant of a [defendant’s] duty of care . . . [as well] as a determinant of whether a breach of duty is a proximate cause of an ultimate injury.” …Once foreseeability is established,”considerations of fairness and policy” should determine whether the imposition of a duty is warranted under the particular circumstances of a case.

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