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Maryland Casualty

October 6, 2020


Montana Supreme Court’s Opinion on the Duty of MCC

In 2020, the Montana Supreme Court reached a decision regarding the duty owed to   former W.R. Grace Workers by Maryland Casualty (MCC). MCC served as the worker’s compensation insurer for Grace in the 1960s and also offered industrial hygiene consultation for Grace. The issues before the MTSC in MCC’s writ of supervisory control were whether an actor who knew others were continuously being injured, owed a duty to warn because of the actor’s own affirmative and comprehensive undertakings to address and warn of that very hazard. 

 In a set of majority and unanimous rulings, McGarvey Law prevailed in our  advocacy, and the jury will be instructed that MCC owed a duty to warn workers of the presence and hazards of their work. 

The majority opinion of Justice Gustafson recites in detail, the facts supporting this conclusion (in ¶80):  

“MCC was not merely negligent in its failure to act; rather, in strategically recognizing the latency period for asbestosis to develop, MCC engaged in affirmative actions to conceal the asbestos exposure risk and worker injuries to avoid liability, effectively increasing the risk of additional harm to Mill workers from further asbestos exposure.”

The order from the Supreme Court is provided in the link below.