Ohio High Court Confirms Cumulative-Asbestos-Exposure Theory Cannot Establish Legal Causation

RobertWrightFeatured Expert Contributor, Mass Torts—Asbestos

Robert H. Wright, a Partner with Horvitz & Levy LLP in Los Angeles, CA

The Supreme Court of Ohio has held that a cumulative exposure theory, which posits that every nontrivial exposure to asbestos is a substantial factor in causing mesothelioma, does not satisfy the Ohio statute governing causation in asbestos cases.  Schwartz v. Honeywell International Inc., No. 2016-1372, 2018 WL 793606, at *1 (Ohio 2018).

Some history is in order.  In Horton v. Harwick Chemical Corp., 653 N.E.2d 1196 (1995), the Supreme Court of Ohio rejected the frequency, regularity, and proximity test for substantial causation developed in Lohrmann v. Pittsburgh Corning Corp., 782 F.2d 1156, 1162-1163 (4th Cir. 1986).  The Horton court criticized the Lohrmann test as “overly burdensome” for plaintiffs and “unnecessary.”  Id. at 1199. Continue reading “Ohio High Court Confirms Cumulative-Asbestos-Exposure Theory Cannot Establish Legal Causation”