Kinsman v. Unocal Asbestos case: Landowner Liability and the Grahn v. Tosco Corp. case
Read the discussion in the Kinsman v. Unocal asbestos case, where landowner liability and the Grahn v. Tosco Corp. case are discussed.
Another case cited by Unocal, Grahn v. Tosco Corp. (1997) 58 Cal.App.4th 1373 (Grahn), decided after Privette but before Toland and the other cases, resembles the present case factually and merits discussion. The employee of an independent contractor contracted asbestos-related lung disease from removing and installing insulation on defendant’s job site in the 1970’s.
The plaintiff proceeded on three theories, negligent hiring, retained control, and premises liability. As to the latter theory, the Court of Appeal held that the general negligence instruction given to the jury was prejudicially misleading.
“While a hirer has a duty to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition for employees of an independent contractor, not every dangerous condition on the hirer’s premises subjects the hirer to liability for physical harm to the independent contractor’s employees.
Where the operative details of the work are not under the control of the hirer and the dangerous condition causing injury is either created by the independent contractor or is, at least in part, the object of the work of the independent contractor, the duty to protect the independent contractor’s employees from hazards resides with the independent contractor and not the hirer who may also generally control the premises.”
Courtesy of http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/archive/S118561.PDF
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