Brown v. Armstrong World Indus., Inc., 441 So.2d 1098 (Fla.App. 1983, review denied)
An asbestosis sufferer had shown symptoms of the disease for several years prior to diagnosis, but the trial court had issued a summary judgment dismissing his case. That decision was reversed, however, by the Florida Court of Appeals. The trial court ruled that the statute of limitations had run out, but the appellate court ruled there were material fact issues regarding whether or not the plaintiff either knew, or should have known, that he had a cause of action for the injuries he suffered due to asbestos exposure.
Dorse v. Armstrong World Indus., Inc., 513 So.2d 1265 (Fla. 1987)
The Florida Supreme Court ruled that a military contractor could assert a defense if it provided a product in accordance to federal government specifications. However, the state supreme court also ruled that the defense did not apply to instances where the product was sold to non-governmental consumers. The court also ruled the defense did not apply to instances where the company did not warn the government regarding the dangers of the product. This ruling was in answer to a certified question posed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. As a result of the state supreme court’s decision, Baron & Budd was able to win a summary judgment ruling that the defendant could not assert the defense. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit later affirmed the ruling.
Eagle Picher Indus., Inc. v. Cox, 481 So.2d 517 (Fla. App. 1985, review denied)
The Florida Court of Appeals issued a widely cited opinion that an asbestosis sufferer could later file a second lawsuit if he or she developed asbestos-related cancer in the future. In addition, the appellate court also ruled that evidence of the risk of future cancer could be admitted at a plaintiff’s asbestosis trial to prove the plaintiff’s fear of developing cancer. This decision was one of the first where a state court ruled that asbestosis and asbestos-related cancer – both of which are latent diseases – were distinct and separate from one another. The court ruled that victims of both diseases could recover damages for both diseases. This would be the case even if the cancer developed long after asbestosis was diagnosed.
Holloway v. Armstrong World Industries, Inc. 557 So. 2d 611 (Fla. App. 1990, review denied)
The trial court in this case dismissed the plaintiff’s claim, ruling that it was barred due to the statute of limitations in Florida. However, the Florida Court of Appeals decided that there was a material fact issue regarding the summary judgment of the trial court. As a result, the appellate court reversed the summary judgment.
Mashburn v. Armstrong World Indus., Inc., 489 So.2d 1194 (Fla App. 1986, review denied)
This was an asbestos case where the Florida Court of Appeals determined there was a material issue of fact as to whether or not the plaintiff either knew, or should have known, the facts regarding his cause of action. The appellate court reversed the summary judgment of the trial court.
Oakes v. Pittsburgh Corning Corp., 546 So. 2d 427 (Fla. App. 1989)
The trial court had reduced the amount the jury awarded to the plaintiff, but the Florida Court of Appeals later reinstated the original verdict in full.
Vilardebo v. Keene Corp., 431 So.2d 620 (Fla. App. 1983, appeal dism’d)
A trial court had ruled that a victim of asbestos could not file a lawsuit, citing the Florida statute of limitations. The trial court barred the suit because the plaintiff had not been diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease until several decades had passed after he was last exposed to asbestos. However, Baron & Budd lawyers were successful in convincing the Florida Court of Appeals that the trial court’s ruling violated the plaintiff’s right of access to courts per the Florida Constitution. In addition, the appellate court ruled that the trial court had erred when shifting the summary judgment burden to the plaintiff regarding the issue of his exposure to the defendant’s products that contained asbestos.