Author Archives: Brendan H. Fitzpatrick

Summary Judgment Denied to Manufacturer of Commercial Kitchen Equipment Supreme Court of New York, New York County, December 21, 2016

Plaintiff Dario Battistoni worked as a butcher at a delicatessen in Queens, New York, from 1979 to 1980, and later worked as a butcher and banquet chef in kitchens at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, California from 1980 to 1999. The plaintiff claims that at those jobs he worked with commercial kitchen equipment, including products made by defendant ITW Food Equipment Group LLC that exposed him asbestos and caused his mesothelioma. ITW moved for summary judgment, contending that its products could not have…

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Remand Denied Under Federal Officer Jurisdiction Analysis for Plaintiff Alleging Asbestos Exposure in U.S. Navy U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, December 27, 2016

Plaintiff Marc Killiam served in the U.S. Navy from 1973 to 1977 aboard the USS McCandless while at sea and in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. He alleges that as a boiler tender he removed and replaced various asbestos containing products and that exposure to asbestos from those products caused his asbestosis. He filed suit in Hillsborough County, Florida on September 26, 2016 against various defendants, including Crane Co. Crane removed the case to the U.S. District Court on October 13, 2016 pursuant to 28 U.S.C.…

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Defense Judgment Affirmed Under Consumer Expectation Test Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, December 21, 2016

David Baeza and Vana Baeza filed suit against defendants including Special Electric Company, a distributor of raw crocidolite asbestos fibers called ML-6 following his diagnosis with mesothelioma. Special Electric had supplied ML-6 raw asbestos fibers to Johns-Manville beginning in the mid-1970s. David Baeza’s father had worked at a Johns-Manville plant in Long Beach, California, and David was exposed as a child to asbestos dust that clung to his father’s shoes, clothes, hair, and skin. At the time of trial, the only causes of action that…

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Summary Judgment for Brake Manufacturer Reversed as Circumstantial Evidence of Exposure Sufficient to Show Triable Issue of Fact Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, December 7, 2016

The plaintiffs, wife and sons of Henry Linsowe, filed a complaint in 2011 alleging causes of action for negligence, strict liability, and loss of consortium. In their complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that Linsowe worked as a brake mechanic at Downey Ford from 1969 to 1986 and that he was exposed to asbestos “during various activities, including handling, beveling, removing, cutting, scoring, grinding, shaping, drilling, and installing of asbestos-containing brake pads and shoes, and the use of compressed air to clean and remove asbestos dust from…

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Federal Court Denies Remand on Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Jurisdiction and Dismisses Fraud Counts of Complaint U.S. District Court for Eastern District Of Louisiana, November 17, 2016

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana issued two opinions in the matter of Sheppard v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., et al. which denied the plaintiffs’ motion to remand and dismissed the plaintiffs’ fraud cause of action against the defendants. Plaintiff Jesse Frank Sheppard originally filed in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans. Sheppard alleged that he developed lung cancer and/or mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working for Freeport Sulphur Company. The plaintiff sued…

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Third Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment for Switchgear Manufacturer and Remands U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, October 26, 2016

Carol J. Zellner, on behalf of the estate of Clifford R. Zellner, appealed the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s order granting summary judgment in favor of CBS Corporation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, arguing that the district court erred in finding that she failed to establish a genuine dispute about whether Westinghouse Electric Corporation (predecessor to CBS Corporation) switchgear had deteriorated and exposed her now deceased husband to asbestos-containing dust. The Court of Appeals agreed, and…

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Court Upholds Verdict in FELA Matter in Face of Limitations Argument But Vacates Damages Award and Remands Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, October 18, 2016

In this negligence actions brought under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, affirmed the jury’s verdict against defendant Illinois Central Railroad Company (Central) but vacated the award of damages and remanded for a new damages hearing. In 2003, Paul McGowan was diagnosed with lung cancer and died. In December 2008, his estate filed a 13-count complaint seeking damages from various defendants as a result of Mr. McGowan’s lung cancer and death. Count IV of the complaint was for…

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Court Rejects Appeals of Crane Co. in Three NYCAL Matters Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, October 6, 2016

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York issued three decisions rejecting appeals of Crane Co. arising from verdicts for Plaintiffs in three separate trials out of New York County. In Peraica v. A.O. Smith, et al., a jury on December 3, 2013 awarded the plaintiffs $9,900,000 for past pain and suffering against defendant Crane Co., with an order to vacate the award and order new trial as to such damages unless the plaintiffs stipulated to a reduced award of $4.25…

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Trial Court’s Reaffirmation of Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict in Favor of Defendants Reversed Supreme Court of Mississippi, September 22, 2016

Larry Smith worked on various drilling rigs from the mid-1960s until the early 1990s. He was also a heavy smoker. He was diagnosed with lung cancer and died shortly thereafter. His widow and other heirs filed a wrongful death action against several defendants in 2006. At trial, only Union Carbide Corporation, Montello, Inc., and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. remained. The plaintiffs brought a strict liability claim under a products liability design-defect theory and claimed that Mr. Smith’s exposure to the defendant’s asbestos-containing products on the…

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Supplier of Asbestos for Joint Compound Denied Summary Judgment U.S. District Court for Eastern District of North Carolina, Eastern Division, September 21, 2016

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina denied the motion for summary judgment of defendant Union Carbide Corporation in a case involving alleged exposure to raw asbestos fiber allegedly in joint compound. James Lee was a painter in North Carolina from the late 1960s into the 2000s, and during that time the plaintiffs allege that Lee applied and sanded asbestos-containing joint compound to finish drywall, as well as sanded and swept joint compound. Sanding joint compound created a dust, which would…

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