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April 2013

Legal Insights Publishes Article By Gordon & Rees Partners Michael Pietrykowski and Don Willenburg

Legal Insights, a quarterly publication produced by AIG’s Issue Management Group, published an article by Gordon & Rees partners Michael J. Pietrykowski and Don Willenburg of San Francisco in its Spring 2013 edition.

In the article, titled “Massachusetts: No Liability for Somebody Else’s Products,” Pietrykowski and Willenburg discuss Whiting v. CBS, a Feb. 14 opinion in which the Massachusetts Appeals Court joined other jurisdictions to hold that a defendant is not liable for the products of others – specifically, asbestos-containing gaskets, packing and insulation.

In Whiting, the court affirmed summary judgments for two defendants that supplied equipment to the Navy. The Massachusetts Appeals Court found it significant that “any insulation originally installed on the turbines or valves would have been removed and replaced from unknown sources in two overhauls” before the decedent was aboard ship. “Accordingly, there is no evidence that Whiting’s mesothelioma was caused by asbestos products manufactured by the defendants,” the court wrote.

Pietrykowski serves as chair of Gordon & Rees's national Environmental and Toxic Tort Practice Group. He has handled a variety of toxic tort cases including those involving chemicals, asbestos, and mold exposures. He also has spoken on defense strategies and the use of experts in environmental cases at numerous regional and national seminars.

Willenburg leads Gordon & Rees’s Appellate Practice Group. His practice includes appeals and writs in a variety of substantive areas of the law, including environmental and toxic torts, insurance coverage, employment, construction and commercial matters.

To read the full article, please click here.

Michael J. Pietrykowski
Don Willenburg