Summary Judgment Victory Based on Successor Liability Law in Washington State

April 2, 2021 – Press Release

April 2, 2021 (Seattle, WA) – Hawkins Parnell & Young won a summary judgment motion for a manufacturer of cosmetic talc products in a living mesothelioma case in King County, Washington. Judge Regina Cahan denied the plaintiff's request for a CR Rule 56(f) continuance and granted outright summary judgment for Hawkins Parnell's client. The motion relied upon Washington’s successor liability law.

The plaintiff alleged exposure to asbestos in a cosmetic talc fragranced body powder used nearly two decades before the client acquired the product line in 2001. Hawkins Parnell successfully argued that the claims failed under the “product-line” criteria adopted by Washington for successor liability in Martin v. Abbott Labs., 102 Wash. 2d 581, 689 P.2d 368 (1984). The court ruled that plaintiff failed to produce sufficient evidence to impose liability under Washington’s successor liability law and granted Hawkins Parnell’s summary judgment motion against the cosmetic talc client in entirety.

The case is titled Hirshberg v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 20-2-05603-1 SEA, Superior Court of Washington for King County.