The application of asbestos-containing joint compound products does not constitute “incorporation” into improvements to real property and is therefore not protected under Virginia’s Statute of Repose.

VIRGINIA – On June 16, 2009, U.S. Magistrate Judge David Strawbridge denied defendants’ motions in limine based upon the Virginia Statute of Repose filed in Barbara Anderson v. Alfa Laval, Inc. et al. The Virginia Statute of Repose bars recovery for any injury received as a result of improvements to real property including the use of “ordinary building materials incorporated into improvements” more than five years after construction. In question was whether evidence of Ms. Anderson’s exposure to asbestos-containing dust from the installation of joint compound products used during the construction of drywall partitions in the buildings where she worked from 1962 to 1985 was barred by the Statute of Repose. After review the judge concluded “that an ordinary building material, such as the joint compound involved here, is incorporated into the greater improvement only when the installation of that material is complete.” Therefore, testimony regarding Ms. Anderson’s exposure to asbestos-containing dust from joint compounds during this time period can be admitted. (See attached opinion)

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