The Nemeroff Law firm recently took its pursuit of victims’ rights to the highest court in the State of Utah and helped ensure the opportunity for justice to those injured from secondary asbestos exposure brought home from the workplace. In a landmark decision, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that companies that exposed workers to asbestos can be held liable if family members and others living in the exposed worker’s home become sick from the asbestos unknowingly brought home on the clothes of the worker.
Barbara Boynton’s husband, Larry, worked as an electrical contractor at various industrial facilities in Utah. As a result of his work around asbestos products at these facilities, Barbara’s husband unknowingly came home with asbestos dust on his work clothes. This asbestos was tracked throughout their home exposing Barbara and all family members living in the home. Barbara was further exposed to the asbestos dust when cleaning and laundering her husband’s work clothes. As a result of these asbestos exposures, Barbara Boynton developed and died from mesothelioma, a fatal cancer only caused by exposure to asbestos.
Because of the pain and suffering experienced by Barbara and her family, they filed a lawsuit seeking justice. Nemeroff Law attorneys Barrett Naman & Rick Nemeroff acted as lead attorneys on the case, working closely with the Boynton family and navigating the case through the discovery phase. After the defendant companies that exposed Barbara and her family to asbestos without warning filed motions with the trial court arguing they were not responsible under Utah law, Nemeroff Law attorneys Scott Marshall, Ryan Phillips and Barrett Naman framed and briefed the novel issues of this case before arguing them in front of the trial court judge.
When the trial judge ruled against the Boynton family, Rick Nemeroff and the attorneys at his firm immediately doubled-down their efforts committing significant time, as well as legal and financial resources to appeal the trial court judge’s ruling to the Utah Supreme Court. The facts that had been uncovered during the discovery phase of the case as well as the thorough briefing by the Nemeroff Law Firm team, provided a strong foundation for appeal of the trial court’s ruling.
The question before the Utah Supreme Court in Boynton v. Kennecott Utah Copper, LLC, was whether or not companies that utilize asbestos owe a duty of care to prevent take-home or secondary exposures in the homes of exposed workers. In November 2021, the Utah Supreme Court rejected defendants’ arguments and provided an important win for Utah workers and their families who were exposed to asbestos.
The decision from Utah’s highest court in Boynton, not only provided Barbara Boynton’s family the opportunity to obtain justice, but will have significant ramifications for all Utah families. Now, injured family members and those living with workers unknowingly exposed to asbestos and other harmful substances at their jobsites may hold companies responsible for the failure to warn them of the hazards resulting from their jobsites. Not only does this decision protect the rights of Utahans, it will hopefully encourage companies to make their worksites safer and warn of hazards associated with their jobsites.
Upon hearing of their victory at the Utah Supreme Court, the Boynton family was thrilled. While nothing can bring back their beloved wife and mother, the Boyntons are pleased that her name on this monumental decision from the Utah Supreme Court will now be synonymous with guaranteeing other Utah victims and their loved ones the opportunity to obtain justice.
The attorneys at the Nemeroff Law Firm continue to fight for the rights of those injured by the negligence of others and are pleased their efforts in the Boynton case will allow victims in Utah the opportunity for recourse against the wrongs committed against them.