Rice v. Dow Chem. Co

In Rice v. Dow Chem. Co., 124 Wn.2d 205, 875 P.2d 1213, 1217 (Wash. 1994) the Washington Supreme Court applied Restatement 145 and concluded that an individual exposed to dangerous pesticides in Oregon and later diagnosed with leukemia in Washington was "injured" in Oregon. The court rejected plaintiff's contention he was injured in Washington because he was living there when his claim accrued at the time of his diagnosis years after exposure. Id. at 1218. The court recognized that "the place an injured Plaintiff's action accrues may be completely unrelated to where the plaintiff was injured" and then reasoned that the plaintiff was injured in Oregon where he was primarily exposed to the pesticides. Id. After examining other factors, the court held Oregon law applicable and affirmed dismissal of the plaintiff's complaint under Oregon's statute of repose. Id. at 1218-19. Other courts have reached similar conclusions. See Clayton v. Eli Lilly & Co., 421 F. Supp. 2d 77, 79-80 (D.D.C. 2006) (applying Restatement and finding that plaintiff was injured in Alabama where her mother filled prescription for dangerous drug and used it, exposing plaintiff in utero, although adverse effects of exposure diagnosed while plaintiff lived in Puerto Rico); Harding v. Proko Indus., Inc., 765 F. Supp. 1053, 1054-57 (D. Kan. 1991) (conducting 145 analysis and finding Texas law applied where decedent exposed in that state while he resided there even though mesothelioma was detected while decedent lived in Kansas); Smith v. Walter C. Best, Inc., 756 F. Supp. 878, 880-81 (W.D. Pa. 1990) (conducting Restatement analysis and concluding plaintiff was injured by silica dust where exposure occurred and not where he subsequently suffered from silicosis); McCann v. Foster Wheeler LLC, 48 Cal. 4th 68, 76, 97-98, 105 Cal. Rptr. 3d 378, 225 P.3d 516 (2010) (determining that law of state of exposure to asbestos governs rather than law of state where diagnosis of mesothelioma occurred); Celotex Corp. v. Meehan, 523 So. 2d 141, 146 (Fla. 1988) (deciding New York law applied where decedent was exposed in New York to asbestos and was a resident of New York even though asbestos-related disease manifested in Florida).