Virginia Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number

120283, 120299


Case Updates

Virginia Supreme Court rejects asbestos lawsuit, establishes reasonable requirements for plaintiffs to prove causation

January 10, 2013

The Virginia Supreme Court agreed with the defendants today that Virginia does not follow the “substantial contributing factor” standard of causation. The Court held: “Here, for the first time, we are called upon to rule explicitly as to the causation standard appropriate for mesothelioma. We find that in concurring causation cases, the ‘sufficient’-to-have-caused standard as elaborated above is the proper way to define the cause-in-fact element of proximate cause.” Mesothelioma plaintiffs in Virginia will have to prove that exposure to a defendant’s product would have been sufficient in itself to have caused the disease, and that the exposure occurred before the disease actually developed.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

July 05, 2012

NCLC urged the Virginia Supreme Court to reject the “any exposure” causation theory in asbestos cases. Under this radical theory, “any exposure” to asbestos, no matter how small the dose, is deemed a substantial factor in causing mesothelioma. NCLC's brief argued that the “any exposure” theory is both bad science and bad law: it stands in sharp contrast to normal causation methodology, which requires an expert to assess a dose first and then demonstrate that the dose received was sufficient to cause disease. NCLC explained that the “any exposure” theory has contributed to the gross expansion of asbestos litigation and improperly shifts the burden of proof while allowing untested and unreliable evidence to reach the jury.

Case Documents