In its coalition brief, the U.S. Chamber urged the New York Court of Appeals to reverse the Appellate Division's decision and rule that defendants bear responsibility only for harm caused by their own products.
The brief reminds the Court that under New York law, manufacturers are not liable for failure to warn about hazards in other companies' products. Furthermore, it argues that numerous out-of-state cases have held that manufacturers are not liable for harms caused by post-sale addition of asbestos-containing parts from third-parties. Courts outside of the asbestos context have refused to extend liability to manufacturers of products that are used in conjunction with products by third-parties that cause harm. Finally, the brief explains how imposing liability on a manufacturer for a third-party's asbestos product would worsen the asbestos litigation and furthermore is unnecessary because trusts exist to pay for harms caused by exposure to asbestos from bankrupt companies.
The U.S. Chamber filed this brief jointly with the Business Council of New York State, Manufacturers Alliance of New York State, Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, Coalition for Litigation Justice, Inc., National Association of Manufacturers, NFIB Small Business Legal Center, American Tort Reform Association, American Insurance Association, Northeast Retail Lumber Association, and International Assocation of Defense Counsel.
Victor E. Schwartz and Mark A. Behrens of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP served as co-counsel for the amici with the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center.