The Tennessee Supreme Court joins several other states in holding that an employer owes a duty to persons who come into contact with asbestos-contaminated work clothes of its employees. Although this case involved the daughter of a worker, the opinion could have broader implications to individuals outside the household that come into regular contact with workers. The court concluded that it was foreseeable that the daughter of a worker was within a class of persons that could be harmed by exposure to asbestos. Moreover, the court refused to limit this duty to household members of employees. In fact, the court noted that it could not see a reason to “prevent carpool members, babysitters, or the domestic help from pursing negligence claims against an employer should they develop mesothelioma after being repeatedly and regularly in close contact with an employee’s asbestos-contaminated work clothes over an extended period of time.”

Link to Satterfield v. Breeding Insulation Company, Inc. (Click on case name.)