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In order to recognize a claim for fear of contracting a future illness, courts have required actual exposure to a harmful agent. See Potter v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., 6 Cal. 4th 965, 863 P.2d 795, 25 Cal. Rptr. 2d 550 (1993) (a plaintiff must show actual exposure to a toxic substance and that it is more likely than not cancer will develop); Urman v. South Boston Savings Bank, 424 Mass. 165, 674 N.E.2d 1078 (1997) (without evidence of actual exposure to trichloroethylene, summary judgment against plaintiffs was proper); Leaf River Forest Products v. Ferguson, 662 So. 2d 648 (Miss. 1995) (without evidence of actual exposure to dioxin, plaintiffs failed to prove their claim); see also Simmons v. Pacor, Inc., 543 Pa. 664, 674 A.2d 232 (1996) (although plaintiffs demonstrated actual exposure to asbestos, they did not demonstrate an accompanying physical injury).


An actual-exposure requirement prevents an individual from recovering damages for fear of contracting a disease when that fear is based on a lack of information or inaccurate information regarding its transmission. See Brzoska, 668 A.2d at 1363; K.A.C., 527 N.W.2d at 559-60; Williamson, 150 N.J. at 244, 696 A.2d at ...

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