New Case Law: California Contractors Are Now Strictly Liability For The Products They Install
On December 22, 2015; the Fourth Division of the Second Appellate District in California issued their decision in Jovana Hernandezcueva, v. E. F. Brady Company, Inc. This decision requires a drywall contractor, E.F Brady; to be held in strict liability for the mesothelioma injuries and ultimate death of Mrs. Hernandezcueva’s husband. Brady performed drywall installation in the 1970s for a Fluor Corporation project. Mr. Hernandezcueva worked as a janitor in the facility in the 1990s; while renovation work was going on.
The justices decided that Brady was enough involved in the “stream of commerce” involving the installation of drywall that contained asbestos, that they could be held under strict liability provisions. Brady was unaware at the time that the drywall contained asbestos.
This is a very bad precedent setting case. Several contractor organizations including CALPASC are attempting to get the California Supreme Court to review this case and overturn it.