Shelley Droz alleged that her husband, Eric Droz, used an arc grinding machine to resurface brake drum shoes that contained asbestos. She claimed the arc grinder manufacturer, Hennessy, knew that the grinding process generated asbestos dust, and Hennessy had a duty under Washington State law to warn about the dangers of asbestos dust exposure.
The personal injury lawsuit accused Hennessy of having known that its arc grinder would raise asbestos dust that, when inhaled, could lead to malignant mesothelioma, and of failing to warn of this risk as required by law. The Superior Court agreed with the company that the widow had not presented enough proof to defeat their motion for summary judgment, but the Delaware Supreme Court determined that the Superior Court had erroneously applied the standards required.
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