Girlfriend's Take-Home Liability Suit Remanded

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By Peter Hayes

July 25 — A woman alleging she was exposed to beryllium on her boyfriend's work clothes will have another chance to prove her claims after the Third Circuit remanded the case in light of a New Jersey Supreme Court ruling ( Schwartz v. Accuratus Corp., 2016 BL 235698, 3d Cir., No. 14-4002, 7/22/16 ).

The New Jersey high court ruled earlier this month that a duty of care for take-home toxic-tort liability may extend beyond a spouse, but declined to construct a bright-line rule “as to who's in and who's out.” (31 TXLR 659, 7/14/16) (31 TXLR 654, 7/14/16)

The Third Circuit July 22 remanded the case to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to apply the ruling.

Brenda Schwartz lived with but was not married to her now-husband Paul at the time of exposure.

The couple brought claims of take-home exposure alleging Paul and another roommate brought home beryllium on the clothing from their workplace, Accuratus Corp.

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania dismissed the premises liability claims against Accuratus, finding the ruling in Olivo v. Owens-Illinois, Inc., 895 A.2d 1143 (N.J. 2006) limits premises liability to the employee's spouse.

The Schwartzes appealed to the Third Circuit, which certified the question to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Judge Kent A. Jordan issued the ruling, joined by Judges Michael Chagares and Maryanne Trump Barry.

Golomb & Honik in Philadelphia represents Schwartz.

Becker Meisel in Cherry Hill, N.J. represents Accuratus.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Hayes at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Steven Patrick at and Jeffrey D. Koelemay at

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