The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that a statute of repose barring many construction-related personal injury claims after a time limit of six years also applies to claims involving diseases with extended latency periods, such as asbestos-related illnesses.
The ruling follows the death of Wayne Oliver in 2016 due to mesothelioma after he was exposed to asbestos during construction of two nuclear power plants in the 1970s.
Previously, defendent General Electric Company (GE) had designed, manufactured and sold steam turbine generators for installation at each of the plants and supervised the installations. GE’s installation specifications called for the use of asbestos-containing insulation materials, and Oliver – who worked as a pipe inspector for a non-party – was present while the insulation was cut, mixed and applied to piping systems and equipment in the turbine halls of both plants, exposing him to the asbestos particles, according to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court document.
Oliver came into contact with the insulation between 1971 and 1978, received his malignant mesothelioma diagnosis in April 2015 and brought the underlying action in the Superior Court in August 2015, the court document stated.
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