Sabetian v. Exxon Mobile Corp.Annotate this Case
The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Chevron and Exxon in an action brought by plaintiff on behalf of her deceased husband, in an action alleging claims for negligence, premises liability, and loss of consortium. Plaintiff claimed that her husband contracted mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos while he was an Iranian citizen working for the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in facilities controlled by defendants.
The court held that plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to the negligence and premises liability claims. In this case, plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to the Chevron and Exxon defendants' ownership, possession, or control of the Iranian facilities, which would impose a duty on defendants under Civil Code section 1714 to protect refinery workers like plaintiff's husband from exposure to asbestos. Furthermore, plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact that the 1954 contractual agreement between the Iranian government and a consortium of international oil companies, including defendants' predecessors in interest, created a special relationship between defendants' predecessors and plaintiff's husband. The court also held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding monetary and evidence sanctions to the Exxon defendants.