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Amchem V. British Columbia Notes

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This is an extract of our Amchem V. British Columbia document, which we sell as part of our Conflict of Laws BCL Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.

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AMCHEM V. BRITISH COLUMBIA (CANADA) FACTS The individual appellants consist of 194 persons who have suffered injury which they claim is due to exposure to asbestos or who are dependents of deceased persons affected by asbestos. In July of 1988, nine of the individual appellants commenced an action in the Texas District Court, Harrison County, Texas, seeking damages from the respondent asbestos companies. Eventually, the number of individual plaintiffs swelled to 194 in number. In all but 40 of these claims, the Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia ("the Board") has a subrogated interest, by virtue of having paid compensation in the form of disability or death benefits to workers whose health was adversely affected by exposure to asbestos, and hence is dominus litis. Any damages recovered beyond the Board's interest are to be paid to the claimants. The appellant, Cassiar Mining Corporation (hereinafter "Cassiar") is a British Columbia corporation which has mined asbestos in that province. It was named a defendant in the action in British Columbia by the respondent asbestos companies although no injunction was sought against it. It is alleged that in any actions in British Columbia by the appellants, the respondent asbestos companies would seek contribution and indemnity from Cassiar. The respondents are all companies involved in the manufacture, sale or supply of asbestos and asbestos products. None of the respondents has any connection with the Province of British Columbia. The appellants allege that the respondent asbestos companies, with the possible exception of T & N and Carey Canada Inc., engaged in the following tortious conduct in the United States: making decisions pertaining to the manufacture of various asbestoscontaining products; failing to provide adequate warnings and instructions for the use, application and removal of asbestoscontaining products; failing to notify workers and others likely to be exposed of the dangers of asbestos exposure known to the asbestos companies; and conspiring to suppress knowledge of those dangers. In November, 1989, the asbestos companies brought applications in the Supreme Court of British Columbia seeking anti-suit injunctions against the appellants, in order to prevent the continuation of the Texas actions. HOLDING TEST



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