We are informed by someone familiar with the case that the Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the plaintiff in a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Alcoa.

The case involves the death of a Mr. Satterfield's daughter from mesothelioma, a highly lethal form of cancer that is almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos. The lawsuit alleges she contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos fibers brought home on the work clothes of her father, an Alcoa employee, as a "direct result of negligent acts and omissions" by Alcoa and co-defendant Breeding Insulation.

The ruling upholds the Tennessee Court of Appeals reversal of Blount County Circuit Court Judge W. Dale Young's dismissal of the case. The appeals court had previously overturned Young's dismissal, reinstated the case, and ordered Alcoa to pay for the appeal. There is no word yet on what's next or whether the case will be remanded back to Blount County Circuit Court.


UPDATE: We just spoke with attorney Greg Coleman who represents Doug Satterfield, the plaintiff in the case. He said it is a big victory, most importantly for Mr. Satterfield and the Satterfield family.

Mr. Coleman said the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that Alcoa owes a duty to Amanda Satterfield, the late daughter of Doug Satterfield, regarding exposure to hazardous workplace materials (asbestos in this case).

In an unprecedented ruling that Mr. Coleman said "changes the law in Tennessee," the State Supreme Court also ruled that such duty also extends beyond the employee and immediate family members to anyone having "close and repeated contact." This would include, for example, a maid who routines does laundry contaminated with hazardous materials, or people exposed from riding in a car pool.

The ruling effectively expands the "class of persons" to include anyone with close and repeated contact. Mr. Coleman said it is the first case of its type in the state.

The court told Alcoa that there should be limits, but that Alcoa had to make a case as to why their duty does not extend to this class of persons.

With the State Supreme Court ruling, the case is remanded back to the Blount County Circuit Court and Judge W. Dale Young.

Attached is the full Tennessee Supreme Court ruling.

I'm glad, and this is good, but...

don't you think the next stop in the case is going to be about 500 miles east of Dale Young's courtroom? East, northeast, maybe even an Nor'easter?

Mello, there are no federal

Mello, there are no federal Constitutional or statutory issues involved for an appeal to the US Supreme Court. The case involved state law questions of duty and negligence. Next stop will be Blount County Circuit Court for trial.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

Wire Reports