If you are a worker who became ill after exposure to asbestos, and if part of your legal case involves claims against a manufacturer of a product containing asbestos, you may hear of the “sophisticated user” doctrine. There’s a possibility that the defendant manufacturer may try to show that because you are a professional who is familiar with the risks inherent in products containing asbestos, that they bore no responsibility to warn you of these dangers. In short, warning sophisticated users of the dangers of certain products would be akin to warning a blacksmith that fire is hot: it’s simply not necessary.
Intermediary and end user
Sometimes cases involving sophisticated user doctrine arguments are not so straightforward. In some cases, for example, the entity purchasing the asbestos-containing materials is not the end user, but an employer. If your employer purchased asbestos-containing materials, and then required you to work with those materials, the employer would need to be able to show that you had been trained in how to work with the dangerous material in order to evade liability. Inadequately trained workers who become ill as a result of asbestos exposure may be able to bring successful asbestos-related claims against either employers or manufacturers, depending on the circumstances.
If you or a loved one has been injured at work by exposure to asbestos, you deserve strong legal guidance as you pursue maximum compensation. Whether you might be considered a sophisticated user or not, you deserve skilled legal representation to help achieve the best possible resolution for what you’ve been through.