Author Archives: Gregory M. McNamee

Pennsylvania’s Long Arm Statute and its Effect on Personal Jurisdiction

In the wake of the Daimler, BNSF, and Bristol-Myers Squibb opinions recently issued by the U.S. Supreme Court, defendants in asbestos cases throughout the country have been challenging personal jurisdiction with greater success. Yet, Pennsylvania remains a difficult jurisdiction for defendants to assert the defense, due to Pennsylvania’s long arm statute. No Pennsylvania state appellate court or federal court has yet ruled on the general personal jurisdiction issue in an asbestos case since the Bristol-Myers Squibb opinion was issued. In the meantime, a split…

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Second Motion to Remand Denied When Plaintiff Asserted Claims She Previously Waived U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, February 2, 2018

OREGON — The plaintiff initially filed her lawsuit on behalf of her father’s estate, in Oregon state court, alleging he was exposed to asbestos while working at Norwest Marine & Iron Works Shipyard and Albina Engine & Machine Works Shipyard. Both shipyards serviced military and civilian vessels. Neither the original nor amended complaints contained specific ship information. Defendants GE and CBS removed to federal court based upon the federal officer removal statute after plaintiff provided a ship list. The plaintiff filed a motion to remand,…

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Plaintiffs’ Motion for Reconsideration of Dismissals Based Upon Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Denied U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, January 11, 2018

MISSOURI — On June 27, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri granted several defendants’ motions to dismiss based upon a lack of personal jurisdiction. The plaintiffs subsequently filed a motion to reconsider due to an intervening change in the law, specifically the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) opinion issued on June 19, 2017. The court noted that such motions, filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59, cannot be used to raise arguments which could have been raised…

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Removal Under Federal Officer Removal Statute Held to Begin on Date of Receipt of Deposition Transcript U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, January 11, 2018

On February 23, 2017, the plaintiff filed a complaint against Avondale Shipyards, and numerous other defendants, alleging he suffered mesothelioma from his employment at Avondale. The plaintiff was deposed over eight days from March 9 to April 13, 2017. He was cross-examined by counsel for Avondale on March 10 and 20, 2017. On March 28, 2017, counsel for Avondale received a link to the deposition transcript. Avondale removed the matter on the basis of federal officer jurisdiction on April 27, 2017, 30 days following receipt…

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Denial of Remand When Removal Under Federal Officer Removal Statute Deemed Timely U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, January 10, 2018

MARYLAND — The plaintiff filed her lawsuit in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County on June 5, 2015, alleging the decedent was exposed to asbestos at Bethlehem Steel Sparrows Point Shipyard as a riveter heater and boiler maker from 1948 through the 1970s. A co-worker was deposed on December 11, 2015, and testified that decedent was exposed to asbestos from Foster Wheeler products while building ships for the Vietnam War. Foster Wheeler removed the case base on the Federal Officer Removal Statute to the U.S.…

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Summary Judgment Affirmed in Delaware Maritime Action Based Upon Lack of Product Identification Superior Court of Delaware, November 29, 2017

DELAWARE — In an unreported opinion issued on November 29, 2017, the Superior Court of Delaware affirmed the entry of summary judgment on behalf of Warren Pumps. The plaintiff, Phillip Walsh, served aboard the USS Halsey and USS Bigelow from 1975 to 1977 as a machinist in the U.S. Navy. He was the only product identification witness offered. He testified that he removed insulation from pumps, and also removed and installed packing and gaskets on the pumps. With regard to the manufacturer of those replacement…

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Summary Judgment Affirmed in Favor of Insulation Suppliers Based Upon Lack of Product Identification Circuit Court for Baltimore County, November 20, 2017

MARYLAND — The Circuit Court for Baltimore County affirmed the entry of summary judgment for two insulation suppliers-installers in a mesothelioma case arising from Bethlehem Steel’s Key Highway Shipyard (KHS), agreeing that the plaintiffs failed to present evidence linking the plaintiff to the products or employees of the insulation defendants. The evidence demonstrated that MCIC, Inc. (formerly the McCormick Asbestos Company) and Wallace & Gale Settlement Trust (formerly the Wallace & Gale Company) both supplied and installed insulation at KHS during the plaintiff’s years of…

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Los Angeles Jury Deliberating in $24M Talcum Product Trial Los Angeles County Superior Court, November 13, 2017

CALIFORNIA — Closing arguments were conducted on Monday, November 13, 2017 in a trial against Johnson & Johnson and its supplier, Imerys Talc America Inc., alleging that asbestos in talcum powder caused the plaintiff’s mesothelioma. The plaintiff’s counsel argued that Johnson & Johnson and Imerys pushed to delay regulation of talc for years, and that the companies advocated for methods of testing their products for asbestos that could not detect the levels actually present. The plaintiff suffers from mesothelioma, and her life is predicted to…

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After Close of Discovery Motion for Release of Pathology Materials Granted U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, November 3, 2017

NORTH CAROLINA — Defendant John Crane filed a motion for an order governing the release of pathology materials following the close of discovery. Although pathology materials had been requested from the plaintiff’s counsel nearly a year and a half prior to the discovery end date, they were not produced until eight days after that deadline had passed. John Crane then learned that there were additional pathology materials in the possession of Duke University Hospital System (DHUS). John Crane requested the additional slides in April 2017,…

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Res Judicata Bars Plaintiff’s Mesothelioma Claim Against Prior Settled Defendant U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, October 13, 2017

LOUISIANA — The decedent filed an asbestosis lawsuit in 1991 against Owens-Illinois and other defendants. Owens-Illinois settled the claim for $4,000 as part of a group settlement. The Release Agreement stated that the decedent agreed to release the defendant from any cause of action arising out of the decedent’s asbestos-related injury, including mesothelioma, cancer, wrongful death and survival claims. Seventeen years after executing the Release Agreement, the decedent was diagnosed with mesothelioma and eventually passed. His wife and children brought a second action against Owens-Illinois…

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