Please E-mail suggested additions, comments and/or corrections to Kent@MoreLaw.Com.

Help support the publication of case reports on MoreLaw

Date: 06-17-2022

Case Style:

Larry C. Beverage, et al. v. Alcoa, Inc, et al.

Case Number: 1901852

Judge: Patrick A. McElyea

Court: District Court, Scott County, Iowa

Plaintiff's Attorney:

Click Here to Watch How To Find A Lawyer by Kent Morlan

Click Here For The Best Des Moines Personal Injury Lawyer Directory

Defendant's Attorney: Kevin P. Horan, Douglas M. Sinars, Owen Blood, Robert M. Livingston, William R. Hughes, Jr. Matthew McKinney, Thomas Story, Mark Behrens

Description: Des Moines, Iowas personal injury lawyers represent Plaintiffs, who sued defendants on wrongful death product liability theories.

Charles Beverage was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in September 2015 and passed away from the disease on October 7, 2015. His children, Larry Beverage, Linda K. Anderson, and Bonnie K. Valentine, and the executor of his estate, Larry Beverage, (collectively referred to as "Beverage") filed this action against two defendants, Alcoa, Inc.[1] and Iowa-Illinois Taylor Insulation, Inc. (IITI), on September 27, 2017.[2] In an amended petition, Beverage alleged claims for negligence, premises liability, strict liability, breach of express and implied warranties, and loss of consortium.

The claims stem from Charles's exposure to asbestos-containing insulation and other asbestos-containing products when he worked as an independent construction contractor inside Alcoa's aluminum plant in Bettendorf from the 1950s through the mid-1970s. IITI, a supplier and distributor of insulation products, supplied and installed much of the asbestos-containing insulation used in the Alcoa plant. IITI did not manufacture insulation, but it did, at Alcoa's direction, supply asbestos-containing insulation and install it at Alcoa's plant. There are no allegations that Alcoa manufactured or produced asbestos-containing products.

Both defendants moved for summary judgment based on recently-enacted Iowa Code section 686B.7(5), arguing the provision's protection against liability "for exposures from a product or component part made or sold by a third party" applied to each of them. Alcoa faced premises-type liability for failing to provide Charles with a safe environment and failing to warn him of the dangers of the asbestos dust he worked around inside its plant. IITI faced products liability claims of negligence and strict liability for its role in supplying and installing the insulation that was present in the Alcoa plant. The district court parsed the twenty-eight-word provision to conclude that the statute unambiguously granted immunity to any defendant who did not manufacture the offending asbestos-containing products. The district court traced the insulation at issue to manufacturers Johns Manville and Eagle-Pitcher, not Alcoa or IITI, and dismissed all claims against both defendants.

The district court traced the insulation at issue to manufacturers Johns Manville and Eagle-Pitcher, not Alcoa or IITI, and dismissed all claims against both defendants.

The court of appeals affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment, agreeing with its interpretation of section 686B.7(5) as unambiguously granting immunity to Alcoa and IITI since the asbestos-containing insulation was manufactured by third parties. We granted Beverage's application for further review to address the meaning of the newly enacted statute.

Outcome: The district court erred in granting summary judgment to Alcoa and IITI. Judgment is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings.

Plaintiff's Experts:

Defendant's Experts:


Find a Lawyer


Find a Case