Georgia Appeals Court Rules Statute of Repose Bars Strict Liability in Asbestos Cases
July 1, 2021 (Atlanta, GA) – On June 28, 2021, the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Hawkins Parnell & Young’s client, finding that the statute of repose applies to strict liability cases filed under the Georgia Asbestos Claims Act. The ruling reversed a trial court holding that the statute of repose does not apply to asbestos cases and represents a significant victory limiting future strict liability claims. David Marshall argued the case with assistance on briefing and argument from Eric Hawkins.
Plaintiff alleged cosmetic talcum powder usage from 1963 through 2016. She later developed ovarian cancer, which she contends is due to asbestos contamination in the cosmetic talcum powder. David and Eric moved to dismiss the strict liability claims based on the 10-year statute of repose, but the trial court denied the motion, finding that a limitation provision in the Act barred applying the statute of repose. The Court of Appeals held that rules of statutory construction require that the limitation provision only applies to statutes of limitations, not to statutes of repose.