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Manufacturers Can Be Liable for Others’ Parts (Corrected)

March 19, 2019, 2:39 PMUpdated: March 20, 2019, 4:20 PM

A manufacturer may be held liable under maritime law for asbestos-related injuries caused by third-party components, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled March 19.

Manufacturers have a duty to warn when their product requires incorporation of a part, such as asbestos, that the manufacturer knows is likely to make the integrated product dangerous for its intended use, the court said.

Application of the “bare-metal defense,” which shields a manufacturer from liability for aftermarket replacement parts containing asbestos made by another company, has divided the federal circuits.

In the maritime context, the majority said, a manufacturer has a duty to warn if...

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