On February 2, 2017, the Honorable Vivian L. Mednilla of the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, ruled that a manufacturer/supplier of asbestos containing component parts (i.e. paper), used by its customer (i.e. pipe manufacturer),  does not owe a duty to warn the spouse of the customer’s employee as no special relationship exists between the supplier/manufacturer  and the spouse.  Ramsey v. The Georgia Southern University Advanced Development Center (Herty Foundation), CA N14C-01-287 ASB (Del. Super. J. Mednilla, Feb. 2, 2017).   In so holding, the court agreed that the failure to warn is a claim of “non-feasance” and under Delaware law, a special relationship must exist between the defendant and plaintiff to establish the existence of a duty.   Finding no special relationship between the manufacturer/supplier and the “take-home exposed” spouse, summary judgment was granted.  The Judge, in accepting the defendants argument,  expressed that the ruling is a logical extension of existing Delaware law which holds that an employer/premises owners and employer contractors owe no duty to warn  spouses of their own employees on the basis that no special relationship existed between the employer/premises owner and spouse.

The case was presented by the Marks, O’Neill asbestos team in our Delaware office.

Eileen Ford, Esquire argued the motion for Herty Foundation. Medinilla on Household Exposure