Gallagher v. Nat'l Grid USA/Narragansett Elec.Annotate this Case
Dennis Gallagher was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, an occupational disease, and ultimately succumbed to the disease. A trial judge of the workers' compensation court entered decrees holding USGEN New England, Inc. (USGEN) liable to pay benefits to Dennis and to his wife, Maureen Gallagher, as Dennis's last employer under R.I. Gen. Laws 28-34-8. The appellate division of the workers' compensation court vacated those decrees and entered final decrees assessing liability against National Grid USA/Narragansett Electric (National Grid), USGEN's predecessor as owner of the plant where Dennis had worked and been exposed to asbestos. Maureen and National Grid each petitioned for a writ of certiorari to review the appellate division's final decrees. The Supreme Court issued both writs and consolidated the cases. The Court then affirmed, holding that the appellate division did not err in vacating the trial judge's decrees and in entering final decrees assessing liability against National Grid instead.