Friday, April 28, 2017

Chief Judge Carnes and the Art of Powerful Writing

In this Eleventh Circuit Opinion dealing with death caused by exposure to asbestos, Chief Judge Carnes really lets it flow, from the start.
In return for the loan of life, we each owe God a death. Payment in full is a non-negotiable term of the debt, but the timing and circumstances in which remittance is made varies. The question that lies at the bottom of this case is whether the Tennessee Valley Authority caused Barbara Bobo to die sooner and suffer more in the course of dying than she otherwise would have. The legal issues are more complicated, as legal issues often are, but that question is what the case is about, why it is here.
After a meticulous discussion and analysis of facts and law, Chief Judge Carnes sums it up:
Here is the gist of it. TVA used asbestos-containing products at Browns Ferry during the twenty-two years Mr. Bobo worked for it. His duties included cleaning up residue left by insulators and asbestos workers, which in turn allowed asbestos fibers to settle on his clothes. And Mrs. Bobo was exposed to those fibers regularly for 22 years. Her testimony, which the district court credited, was that she was exposed to so much dust from shaking out her husband’s work clothes that the air was foggy.

To answer the question with which we began, TVA did cause Mrs. Bobo to die sooner and suffer more in the course of dying than she otherwise would have.
Have a great weekend. Love the one you're with. And enjoy the time you have left.


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