Hacia una litigación sin horizontes: agregación procesal, exposición no ocupacional al amianto y placas pleurales

Recent developments mark a turning point in Spanish asbestos litigation. Aggregate litigation, non-occupational exposure, and pleural plaques are posing challenges familiar to lawyers and scholars from other jurisdictions. The Judgment of the 46 Trial Court of Madrid, July 5 2010 (J. Javier Sánchez-... Deskribapen osoa

Egile nagusia: Azagra Malo, Albert
Formatua: Artikulua
Hizkuntza: Gaztelania
Argitaratua: Universitat Pompeu Fabra 2010
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Laburpena: Recent developments mark a turning point in Spanish asbestos litigation. Aggregate litigation, non-occupational exposure, and pleural plaques are posing challenges familiar to lawyers and scholars from other jurisdictions. The Judgment of the 46 Trial Court of Madrid, July 5 2010 (J. Javier Sánchez-Beltrán)thth is the latest example. A manufacturer of asbestos-cement products was found liable for injuring neighbors of a factory located in the province of Barcelona. The relevance of the judgment among Westlaw-reported decisions on Spanish asbestos litigation is, at least, six-fold: (i) environmentally-exposed victims are awarded damages for the first time; (ii) domestic exposure is considered to trigger liability for the second time; (iii) the award ranks among the highest so far: 3.918.594,64 �; (iv) the interests of as many as forty-seven neighbors -or their relatives- were at stake; (v) most of the neighbors were asymptomatic or suffered only minor injuries; (vi) the judgment was delivered by a civil court applying a three-year statute of limitation set forth by the Catalan Civil Code and combining negligence and strict liability criteria, while labor courts deciding on occupational exposure cases generally apply a one-year statute of limitation and a negligence rule. This article comments on the judgment and analyzes practical and theoretical problems that may arise both from aggregate litigation and pleural plaques litigation. It also points out some likely consequences of having environmentally-exposed victims as plaintiffs in an increasing number of cases.