Companies can be liable to household members injured by asbestos carried home by workers, according to the California Supreme Court. In Kessner v. Superior Court, the determined that there is liability to household members injured by exposure to asbestos carried home by workers:
Does an employer that uses asbestos in the workplace have a duty of care to protect employees’ household members from exposure to asbestos through off-site contact with employees who carry asbestos fibers on their work clothing, tools, vehicles, or persons? How, if at all, does this duty differ when the plaintiff states a claim for premises liability rather than general negligence? If an employer or premises owner has such a duty, is that duty limited to immediate family members or to members of the employee‘s household? Or does the duty extend to visitors, guests, or other persons with whom the employee may come into contact? We hold that the duty of employers and premises owners to exercise ordinary care in their use of asbestos includes preventing exposure to asbestos carried by the bodies and clothing of on – site workers. Where it is reasonably foreseeable that workers, their clothing, or personal effects will act as vectors carrying asbestos from the premises to household members, employers have a duty to take reasonable care to prevent this means of transmission. This duty also applies to premises owners who use asbestos on their property, subject to any exceptions and affirmative defense s generally applicable to premises owners, such as the rules of contractor liability. Importantly, we hold that this duty extends only to members of a worker‘s household. Because the duty is premised on the foreseeability of both the regularity and intensity of contact that occurs in a worker‘s home, it does not extend beyond this circumscribed category of potential plaintiffs.