Florida Supreme Court Reinstates $6.6 Million Mesothelioma Judgment Against Union Carbide

The Florida Supreme Court ordered the reinstatement of a $6.6 million judgment in favor of a construction supervisor who claimed that his mesothelioma was the result of exposure to asbestos products manufactured by Union Carbide Corporation.  An intermediate appellate court had reversed the jury verdict and associated judgment, finding that the trial court had failed to apply the “risk utility” test of the Third Restatement, that the plaintiff had not established causation, and that the jury instructions failed to address Union Carbide’s learned intermediary defense.  The state supreme court held that the “consumer expectations” test of the Second Restatement, rather than the “risk utility” test, applied in Florida; that the plaintiff adduced sufficient evidence of causation; and that the trial court properly instructed the jury. [10/30/15]