Douglas Hayes v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Lance B. Williams obtained summary judgment on behalf of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. in an asbestos matter. Douglas Hayes brought suit against TMS alleging exposure to asbestos at a Toyota dealership in Jennings, Louisiana, through brake and clutch repairs performed during his employment. He later died of mesothelioma. After discovery was completed, Federal District Judge Trimble dismissed plaintiff’s claims for two reasons – 1) lack of sufficient product ID and, 2) failure to prove a reasonably anticipated use under the Louisiana Product Liability Act. Plaintiff was unable to demonstrate a connection between any specific product distributed by TMS and Mr. Hayes’ exposure. Further, Judge Trimble found that any repair activity that involved blowing out brake drums during Mr. Hayes’ employment was not a reasonably anticipated use under Louisiana law, given warnings and instructions provided to the mechanics at the dealership. The opinion can be found at 2015 WL 3463491.