Author Archives: David E. Rutkowski

Personal Jurisdiction Challenges Growing in Madison County; May Lead to Fewer Asbestos Filings Supreme Court of Illinois, September 21, 2017

ILLINOIS — Continuing a national trend following the Bristol Myers Squibb Co. v. Supreme Court of California (2017) and Daimler AG v. Bauman (2014), the Supreme Court of Illinois has issued a personal jurisdiction opinion that will limit the ability of out-of-state plaintiffs to file suit in Illinois against “non-resident” or foreign defendants. In the matter of Aspen American Insurance Company v. Interstate Warehousing, Inc., Eastern Fish Company (Eastern) is a New Jersey-based corporation that sources and imports fish products. In 2013, Eastern contracted with…

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Massachusetts Corporation Granted Dismissal for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Supreme Court of New York, New York County, September 7, 2017

Plaintiffs Sean Snowdale and Ryan Snowdale as Co-Executors of the Estate of Donald Kenneth Snowdale initially filed this asbestos-related suit against a number of defendants, including Barnes & Jones, Incorporated on July 6, 2015 in the Supreme Court of New York, New York County (NYCAL). Barnes & Jones answered and asserted the affirmative defense that NYCAL lacked personal jurisdiction over Barnes & Jones as to each and every count in the complaint. On July 20, 2017, Barnes & Jones moved to dismiss based on lack…

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$8.5 Million Verdict Affirmed Against Premises Defendant District Court of Appeal of Florida, Third District, September 6, 2017

Plaintiffs Dennis Britt and Rosa-Maria Britt filed suit after Dennis Britt was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Britt ultimately passed away from the disease and Rosa-Marie Britt continued as personal representative of his estate and added a wrongful death claim. Britt was an employee benefits advisor from 1978-1997 where he visited various commercial and industrial facilities to speak with, and enroll, employees of these facilities, some of which were owned and operated by the defendant. Prior to his death, Britt testified that during the course of his…

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Car Manufacturer Obtains Dismissal Based on Lack of Personal Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, August 22, 2017

Plaintiffs Harold and Judy Haynes filed suit in Delaware Superior Court on June 3, 2016 alleging that Harold Haynes’ lung cancer diagnosis was caused by asbestos exposure. The plaintiffs specifically alleged that Harold Haynes was exposed to asbestos-containing products as a career auto mechanic for Volkswagen dealerships in Washington and Oregon between 1964 and 1980. On July 15, 2016, the case was removed to the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. Defendant Volkswagen filed a motion to dismiss based on personal jurisdiction…

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Summary Judgment Upheld for Georgia Pacific Because Proof Didn’t Distinguish Between Asbestos and Non-Asbestos Product Superior Court of Delaware, August 18, 2017

Defendant Georgia Pacific was granted partial summary judgment, in that all claims against the defendant “pre-1973” were barred. The plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration arguing that the court overlooked the fact that the defendant stopped distributing asbestos joint compound in September 1973. In response to the plaintiff’s motion, the defendant argued that the court properly granted partial summary judgment relating to the plaintiff’s pre-1973 claims as the decision was based on a Stigliano analysis, which states “ when the record reveals that a defendant…

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New York Jury Awards $4.6M to Welder with Mesothelioma Supreme Court of New York, New York County, August 18, 2017

The plaintiff, 75-year-old Thomas McGlynn, contracted mesothelioma on or about May 16, 2016 and filed suit in NYCAL on August 1, 2016 under Index No. 190219/16. The complaint alleged that McGlynn was exposed to asbestos while working as a shipfitter, laborer, and maintenance laborer at various locations in and around New York City. The plaintiff further alleged that McGlynn’s mesothelioma was caused by his occupational exposure to asbestos from work done on asbestos-containing valves manufactured by the defendant. Specifically, McGlynn testified that these valves were…

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Friction Defendants Granted Summary Judgment on the Issue of Causation Supreme Court of New York, Nassau County, August 2, 2017

On August, 2, 2017, Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Julianne Capetola granted various defendants’ motion to renew and re-argue the court’s prior denial of the defendants’ combined Frye/summary judgment motions as to the issue of causation. Upon renewal, the court granted summary judgment to the defendants. By way of background, plaintiffs Giulio Novello and Rosaria Novello brought suit in the Nassau County Supreme Court seeking damages for personal injuries against various automotive-related defendants. The plaintiffs contended that Novello’s lung cancer diagnosis was causally related…

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Brake and Talc Supplier Successfully Move to Dismiss on Lack of Personal Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, July 31, 2017

Following up on prior ACT posts as to the Hodjera suit out of the Western District of Washington, the court granted motions for summary judgment filed by defendants Honeywell International  and Imerys Talc America Inc. under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c) for lack of personal jurisdiction. The court reiterated that due process requires a district court to have personal jurisdiction over a defendant in order to adjudicate a claim against it. Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S. Ct. 746, 753 (2014).  Further, the plaintiffs…

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Each and Every Exposure Theory Insufficient to Prove Specific Causation in South Carolina Federal Court U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, July 21, 2017

This decision addresses a similar issue from two different cases and therefore was decided within the same order. Both sets of plaintiffs offered the opinions of Carlos Bedrossian, MD to provide evidence of specific causation. For a brief factual background, plaintiff John E. Haskins served in the U.S. Navy as a fireman aboard the USS Coney. Haskins was diagnosed with mesothelioma in November of 2014 allegedly caused by his cumulative exposure to asbestos from working with and around asbestos-containing products manufactured or distributed by the…

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Generic Expert Report Insufficient to Satisfy Summary Judgment Causation Standard Superior Court of Delaware, July 19, 2017

Plaintiff James Blair as the administer of the estate of Walter Godfrey, Jr. filed suit against defendant Cleaver-Brooks in the Superior Court of Delaware claiming that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from the defendant’s boilers and a result, was diagnosed and ultimately passed away from lung cancer. As the sole product identification witness, Walter Godfrey, Jr. testified to working with Cleaver-Brooks boilers at various locations between 1977 and 2013 while employed with Connecticut Boiler Repair. The defendant moved for summary judgment and argued, among…

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