Duffy v. CBS Corp.Annotate this Case
At issue was when injuries from asbestos exposure “arise” for purposes of the statute of repose, Md. Code Cts. & Jud. Proc. 5-108.
James Piper filed a complaint alleging that at the time he worked in connecting a new steam turbine generator to another turbine he was unknowingly exposed to asbestos as a result of installation of insulating material that contained asbestos. The insulation was installed in 1970. Piper was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2013. In 2014, Piper filed suit against several defendants, including Respondent, which built the major components of the turbine and constructed the turbine. The circuit court granted summary judgment for Respondent. The court of special appeals affirmed, concluding that Piper’s cause of action did not “arise” or “accrue” until 2013, and therefore, the diagnosis of mesothelioma was outside of the twenty-year limitations period set forth in the statute of repose beginning with the operation of the turbine. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) for purposes of asbestos-related causes of action, an injury arises at the time of last exposure to the asbestos-laden product; and (2) because the statute of repose was enacted after the date of Piper’s injuries, as a matter of law, the statute did not bar Piper’s causes of action.