Jason A. Botticelli

All articles by Jason A. Botticelli

 

Proposed Testimony of Plaintiff’s Expert, Dr. Arnold Brody, Precluded as Being Cumulative

WASHINGTON — In this case, the plaintiff had already presented testimony from occupational and environmental medicine physician, Dr. Carl Brodkin, on the impacts of asbestos on the body. The plaintiff then was looking to call Dr. Arnold Brody to also provide expert opinion on this subject. The defendant objected, arguing that both experts testimony is substantially similar and should be precluded as cumulative. The court agreed. In its decision, the court outlined the proffered testimony of Dr. Brody and stated that his testimony would have…  

Boiler Manufacturer’s Summary Judgment Reversed; Question of Fact on Product ID and Denial of Bare Metal Defense

CALIFORNIA — In this federal court case, the plaintiffs commenced an action in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania alleging the plaintiff’s decedent, Robert Hilt, was exposed to asbestos from numerous products, including Foster Wheeler boilers, on Navy ships . Foster Wheeler moved for and was granted summary judgment based on the finding that the plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Charles Ay’s, opinion was speculative.  Subsequently all other defendants either settled or were dismissed from the case. The plaintiff appealed the order granting Foster Wheeler summary judgment and…  

Dismissal on Basis of Judicial Estoppel Overturned by Second Circuit

NEW YORK — The Clarks entered into personal bankruptcy in 2010. Their proposed bankruptcy plan consisted of monthly payroll deductions. For five years, the Clarks made each payment. In July 2015, Edward Clark was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He believed he was exposed to asbestos while serving in the Air Force and during his subsequent private sector employment. The Clarks decided to file a personal injury action. They informed their bankruptcy attorney of that fact, as they were unsure whether the bankruptcy schedule needed to be…  

Valve Manufacturer’s Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment Granted Based on Preclusion of Plaintiff’s Expert Witness

SOUTH CAROLINA — In this mesothelioma case, the plaintiff, James Chesher, sued alleging asbestos exposure while serving as a machinist mate and commissioned officer in the Navy from 1965 to 1989. Defendant Crane had moved for and was denied summary judgment. However, Crane’s motion to preclude the plaintiff’s causation expert, Dr. Carlos Bedrossian, was granted. The plaintiff moved for reconsideration of the preclusion of his expert and Crane moved to renew its motion for summary judgment. The parties agreed that maritime law applied. The court…  

California Jury Awards $13 Million in Wrongful Death Action Against Sugar Plant

The decedent, Mark Lopez, died from mesothelioma in July 2015. His family brought suit against Hillshire Brands Co., now Tyson Foods, for the decedent’s exposure to asbestos from the now derelict Union Sugar plant. The plant had several owners and closed for good in 1993. The decedent’s family alleged that the small town of Betteravia, where the plant was located and the decedent’s family lived, was contaminated with asbestos from the plant’s operations. The decedent’s grandfather and father worked at the plant. Additionally, as a…  

Case Remanded to State Court Following Resolution of Claims that Invoked Federal Officer Statute

The plaintiffs commenced this action in state court alleging that various products caused plaintiff Ralph Shonkwiler to develop mesothelioma. Defendant CBS Corporation (Westinghouse) removed the matter to federal court based on the federal officer statute since the plaintiffs claimed exposure to their product was a Navy turbine and the claimed exposure took place while plaintiff was serving in the Navy aboard the U.S.S. Ingram. In January 2017, the plaintiffs informed the court that all claims against Westinghouse were resolved and Westinghouse was dismissed from the…  

Daubert Challenges Result in Experts Being Allowed to Testify Regarding General Causation; Not Specific Causation

In this federal court case, it was alleged that the plaintiff’s decedent was exposed to asbestos while serving in various job duties while in the U.S. Navy during the 1960s.  The plaintiff brought two Daubert motions seeking to preclude the defendants’ experts, Drs Michael Graham and Mark Taragin, from testifying. Dr. Graham is a forensic pathologist and Dr. Taragin is an epidemiologist.  The court granted in part and denied in part the plaintiff’s motions. The court would allow each expert to provide general causation testimony…  

Happy Holidays; or Alternative Exposure to Asbestos Snow

With the holiday season upon us, I came across a vintage picture of asbestos snow. There were several manufacturers of asbestos snow, which used to be a product that provided some ambiance to Christmas trees. Common brands were Pure White, Snow Drift and White Magic. The directions called for sprinkling the powder freely over and beneath your tree. It was also used by manufacturing companies to decorate any type of Christmas decoration you can think of — from tree ornaments to wreaths that hung…  

Granting of Summary Judgment to Asbestos Insulation Supplier Based on Government Contractor Defense Upheld on Appeal

In this case, the plaintiff, Gary Kase, claimed exposure to asbestos insulation used in Navy nuclear submarines during the 1970s. Defendant Metalclad Insulation Corp. provided the asbestos-containing insulation, Unibestos, to the U.S. Navy. Metaclad moved for and was granted summary judgment based on the government contractor defense. The plaintiff appealed. On appeal, the court thoroughly reviewed the standards for summary judgment based on the government contractor defense pursuant to the seminal case Boyle v. United Technologies Corp., 487 U.S. 500 (1988). Boyle set forth…  

Denial of Administrative Dismissal Turns on Definition of a “Smoker” Under Ohio State Code

Plaintiff Bobby Turner and his wife commenced an action in April 2013 alleging asbestos exposure caused his lung cancer. The plaintiff was a drywall finisher from 1962 to 1978. Defendant Union Carbide moved to administratively dismiss the claim in February 2014, claiming that the plaintiffs failed to submit prima facie evidence pursuant to R.C. 2307.92. (Under Ohio’s Revised Code General Provisions a plaintiff must meet minimum medical requirements for tort actions alleging an asbestos claim). In response, the plaintiffs submitted an affidavit saying that Mr.…  

Removal Found Procedurally Proper Based on Diversity

The plaintiffs, Nolan and Susan Legeaux, brought a motion to remand their asbestos case from federal court arguing that removing defendants failed to follow the correct removal procedure, that there are non-diverse defendants, and that the federal officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1442, is not applicable to the facts of the case. The motion was opposed by defendants Puget Sound Commerce Center, Inc., Vigor Industrial LLC, and Vigor Shipyards, Inc. The plaintiffs’ motion was denied. The court found there was nothing procedurally improper about…  

Foreseeability of Harm or Relationship Between The Parties: The Difference in Liability for Premise Owners in Take-Home Exposure Cases

Depending on the state, liability of a premise owner in a take-home toxic tort case will hinge either on foreseeability of harm or the relationship of the parties. This distinction is illustrated below in two recent take-home exposure cases, one from New Jersey and one from Arizona. In the New Jersey case, Schwartz v. Accuratus Corp., 225 N.J. 517, 139 A.3d 84, (N.J. 2016) , the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the premise liability of a landowner can go beyond the spouse…  

No Harm No Foul in Asbestos Product Liability Action With Physical Injury

In a recent decision out of an Illinois appellate court, it was held that physical injury does not always equate to compensable physical harm. In the case of Sondag v. Pneumo Abex Corp., et al, the plaintiffs, Joseph and Phyllis Sondag, sued various defendants they claimed exposed Joseph Sondag to asbestos, which lead to his developing pleural plaques and interstitial fibrosis. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant Tremco, Inc. manufactured asbestos containing tape that was used by Joseph as a professional plasterer. The case…  

Various Manufacturers Granted Summary Judgment Under Mississippi Law, Including Acceptance of Bare Metal Defense

The plaintiff, Robert Lee Winhauer, commenced this action alleging asbestos exposure from his personal work on his automobiles from the 1940s through the 1990s, from his work at the Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi from 1965 to 1976 and while working at Courtaulds North America Rayon Staple Plant in Le Moyne, Alabama from 1977 to 1998. Nine defendants, John Crane, John Crane Inc. (JCI), Flowserve US Inc., Carver Pump Co. , Sterling Fluid Systems (USA) LLC, FMC Corp., Velan Valve Corp., Borg-Warner (D.I. 173), and…  

Indiana Found to be Proper Venue in Federal Court Case that was Previously Transferred Based on Convenience and in the Interest of Justice

In this federal court case, the plaintiff, Clovis Aresnault, commenced an action in the Northern District of Indiana alleging exposure to asbestos while working in steel mills in Illinois and at a plant located both in Illinois and the Northern District of Indiana. The case was transferred to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania as part of the multi-district litigation. The case was remanded back to Indiana after an order granted part of defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff subsequently moved to transfer the case…  

Certainteed Obtains Spoliation Charge on Missing Pipe and Defense Verdict Following Two-and-a-Half Week Trial

On July 7, 2016 a Florida jury rendered a defense verdict on behalf of building products manufacturer Certainteed Corporation (“Certainteed”). In this case, it was alleged that the decedent was exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma from his work cutting couplings on Certainteed asbestos-containing irrigation pipe next to his family property for an approximate two-week period in either 1969 or 1970. Through discovery it was learned that some of the pipe was removed and reinstalled. After finding witnesses who were able to testify where the…  

What Does New York’s Decision on Duty to Warn Mean Going Forward in Asbestos Litigation?

New York’s highest court has imposed a duty on equipment manufacturers to warn about asbestos containing products manufactured by other manufacturers. This long-awaited decision now resolves the duty issue, but what does it mean going forward in asbestos litigation? On June 28, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals ruled in the Dummitt/Suttner cases that Crane Co. had a “a duty to warn of the danger arising from the known and reasonably foreseeable use of its product in combination with a third-party product which, as…  

$22 Million Verdict Against Burnham in NYCAL Case

On June 24, 2016 a NYCAL jury awarded a plaintiff, Frank Gondar, $22 million. The award was broken down $12 million for past pain and suffering and $10 million for future pain and suffering. Mr. Gondar was living and had been diagnosed with mesothelioma. He owned a part-time construction company from 1953 to 1973 and allegedly was exposed to asbestos form working in the vicinity of others working with and on residential boilers. The jury found that Burnham failed to provide adequate warnings, which was…  

$6.25 million Jury Verdict In NYCAL Case Against Boiler Manufacturers

On June 13, 2016 a NYCAL jury awarded plaintiff $6.25 million for the death of the decedent, Vincent Geritano, who had been diagnosed with mesothelioma. The only defendants remaining at trial were Burnham and Crown Boiler Co.  The jury found Burnham liable, but not Crown. Burnham was assessed 9 percent liability, with several other entities sharing the remainder of the liability. Read the verdict sheet here.…  

Summary Judgment Granted to Various Defendants For Lack of Product Identification Despite Inclusion in Interrogatory Responses in Take-Home Exposure Case

In this case, it was alleged that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from laundering her husband, Eugene Blamowski’s, work clothes. Mr. Blamowski worked as a laborer at Bethlehem Steel from 1955-84, with the exception of his Army service from 1958-62. He and the decedent were married in 1965 and the decedent had laundered his clothes since that time. Several defendants, including Frontier Insulation Contractors, Beazer East, Riley Power, Inc., and Buffalo Pumps, Inc., moved for summary judgment based on lack of product identification and…  

Issue of Foreseeable Duty to be Determined by a Jury in Take-Home Exposure Case Against Plant Where Decedent’s Husband Worked

The plaintiffs’ decedent, Elizabeth Sutherland, alleged take-home exposure to asbestos from her first husband’s work clothes. The plaintiff’s first husband, James “Huey” Chustz, worked as an electrician helper for Hershel Leonard Jr. Electric Company from 1964-72. At minimum, he spent 250 days at the sugar mill Alma Plantation, LLC, where he would become covered in dust from coming into contact with pipes. After dismissal of various parties and claims, the only claim remaining against Alma was if it owed a foreseeable duty to the decedent.…  

Summary Judgment in Favor of Supplier of Insulation Affirmed on Strict Liability, But Reversed on Failure to Warn

In this case it is alleged that the decedent, Ian Blandford, was exposed to asbestos while working as a pipefitter from 1955 to 1998. The Edward R. Hart Company (Hart) moved for and was granted summary judgment. The plaintiff appealed. On appeal the court affirmed the trial court’s granting of summary judgment on strict product liability, but reversed the granting of summary judgment on the failure to warn claim. Regarding strict product liability, the court pointed out that Hart was a supplier of asbestos insulation,…  

Federal Court Analyzes New Jersey State Law in Granting Unopposed Summary Judgment Motions of Six Defendants

In this federal court case, the plaintiff, James McCourt, alleged exposure to asbestos from serving in the Navy (1962-66), working as a pipefitter (1961-62 and 1966-68), home renovations (1952-60), automotive repair work (1959-98), and from the clothing of his father from products manufactured by various defendants. Six defendnats, Guard-Line, Inc., CertainTeed Corporation, Union Carbide Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation, PSEG Power, and DAP, Inc., moved for summary judgment. While the plaintiff did not oppose the defendants’ motions, the court still analyzed each motion under New Jersey…  

Partial Motion to Dismiss of Talc Suppliers and Auto-Body Filler Granted Without Prejudice, Giving Plaintiff Time to Amend Claims of Concerted Acts and Intentional and Negligent Misrepresentation

This action was originally commenced by the plaintiff in the Southern District of New York and alleged that the decedent, Pedro Rosado-Rivera, was exposed to asbestos-containing auto-body filler while working in auto shops in New York (1959-1968), Puerto Rico (1968-1992) and then thereafter in Florida. The defendant BASF Catalysts LLC’s, joined by other defendants Superior Materials, Inc. and Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, Inc., motion to transfer the case to the middle district of Florida was granted. (BASF and Whittaker were talc suppliers and Superior was…  

Summary Judgment Overturned on Statute of Limitation Argument as No Proof Offered Linking Past Disease With Mesothelioma Diagnosis

In this take-home exposure case, the plaintiff was diagnosed with malignant epithelial mesothelioma (MEM) on or about August 5, 2010 and commenced her case against various defendants on November 5, 2012.  After joinder of issue and discovery, several defendants moved for, and were granted, summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff’s action was time-barred pursuant to CPLR 214-c (2).  Under this statute, “the three year period within which an action to recover damages for personal injury . . . caused by the latent effects of exposure…  

Summary Judgment to Shipbuilders Upheld on Appeal Since Ships Are Not Products and Rejection of Plaintiffs’ Every Exposure Claim

In this case, the decedent, James McIndoe, was alleged to have been exposed to asbestos pipe insulation while serving aboard the USS Coral Sea, built by Huntington Ingalls Inc., from 1961–63 and the USS Wordern, built by Bath Iron Works Corporation from 1966-67. The case was removed to federal court under the federal officer removal statute, and Huntington and Bath moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motions “on the grounds that the ships were not products for purposes of strict liability…  

Plaintiff’s Motion to Consolidate Numerous NYCAL Cases into Six Trial Groups Granted

The plaintiff moved to consolidate numerous cases into six trial groups pursuant to CPLR 602(a) on the grounds that there are common issues of law and fact. Several defendants opposed the consolidation, arguing, among other things, that they are prejudiced by joint trials, which violate their due process and equal protection rights. They also argued that the plaintiffs consistently recover more in joint trials as juries are confused in joint trials and rely on testimony in one action to bolster their determination in another action…  

Lack of Evidence Linking Decedent’s Asbestos Exposure to Defendants Leads to Summary Judgment for Pump and Valve Manufacturers and Contractor

The plaintiff, George Holland, brought this action on behalf of the decedent, Owen Holland, alleging exposure to asbestos from his work at Monsanto Chemical Plant from 1967–2004. From 1974-2002, the decedent worked with external components of pumps and valves manufactured by Goulds and Crane. He also would sweep packing from around the pumps and fibers from around the valves. Both Goulds and Crane moved for—and were denied—summary judgment. Defendant Fluor Daniel preformed construction and maintenance work at Monsanto from 1967-1998. Its motion for summary judgment…  

Summary Judgment Affirmed as Evidence of Asbestos Impurities in Auto Body Filler Only Equated to a Possibility of Asbestos Exposure

In this case, it was alleged that the plaintiff, John DePree, was exposed to asbestos from various products, including the use of Bondo auto body filler in the 1970s to repair dents in his cars.  BASF Catalysts, LLC moved for, and was granted, summary judgment based on its argument that the plaintiffs could not offer more than a mere possibility of exposure to asbestos from a BASF product since any asbestos in the Bondo talc was an impurity and not an intended ingredient. The plaintiffs…  

Summary Judgment Overturned on Triable Issue as to Medical Monitoring of Plaintiff’s Asbestos-Related Pleural Plaques

In this federal court case, the plaintiff, Robert Hanson, filed a complaint in 2010 against various defendants, including “Doe” defendants, alleging asbestos exposure caused his asbestosis. In 2012, the plaintiff substituted Collins Electrical Company for one of the Doe defendants. In 2013, Collins moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff did not have any evidence of asbestosis or any asbestos-related injury. While the motion was pending, the plaintiff was allowed to file a first amended complaint, which removed any reference to asbestosis and claimed…  

Motion to Remand Granted Based on Supporting Documents Showing Asbestos Work of Non-Diverse Defendant and Early Stage of Discovery

In this case, the plaintiff alleged exposure through his father’s work close from 1953 through the 1970s. The plaintiff’s father worked at the Exxon Baton Rouge facility. The plaintiff also claimed exposure to asbestos as an adult while working as a carpenter at various residential construction sites and as a contractor at Exxon between 1965 through 1978. Defendant Exxon removed the action to federal court based on diversity with the consent of defendants Georgia-Pacific, LLC and Union Carbide Corporation . The plaintiff subsequently moved to…  

Garlock’s Action Based on Fraud For Failure to Disclose Exposure to Bankrupt Manufacturer’s Products Dismissed as Time-Barred

In a prior action brought by estate representative, Delores Robertson, for alleged asbestos exposure to the decedent, Thomas Robertson, Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC was found by a jury to be 25-percent liable. The remainder of the liability was split between the decedent and other settled and non-settled first and third party defendants. Judgment was entered on December 1, 2008.  On July 26, 2012, Garlock brought an action pursuant to CR 60.02(d) claiming that the judgment was based on fraud for plaintiff failing to disclose in…  

Case Remanded to State Court to Hear Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss on Personal Jurisdiction as State Court Issues Predominate Case

In this case, the decedent Oscar Villanueva, is alleged to have been exposed to asbestos from various products while working at Glendale Auto Radio Stereo from 1969 to 1990. Defendant FCA US LLC removed the case to federal court since any judgment would have an impact on its bankruptcy estate. Defendant Dr. Ing. H.C.F. Porsche moved to dismiss arguing improper service of process and lack of personal jurisdiction. The plaintiff subsequently dismissed the claim against FCA and moved to remand for lack of subject matter…  

Section 2 of the Indiana Product Liability Act Statute of Repose Found Unconstitutional

In this federal court case, three appeals regarding the constitutionality of the Indiana product liability act statute of repose were consolidated for review. Several defendants moved for summary judgment based on the statute of repose in each of the cases with various results. The plaintiffs now argue that section 2 of the statute draws a constitutional impermissible distinction between asbestos plaintiffs who have claims against defendants who both mined and sold raw asbestos and asbestos and those asbestos plaintiffs that have claims against defendants that…  

Case Remanded to State Court Despite Defendant’s Claim Plaintiffs Acted in Bad Faith with Claims Against Non-Diverse Defendant

In this case, Asbestos Corporation, Ltd. (ACL) removed the action to federal court on the ground of diversity. The plaintiffs moved to remand, arguing that ACL removed the action past the one year deadline to do so. ACL responded that the missing of the deadline to remove is excused since the plaintiffs acted in bad faith by maintaining a claim against a non-diverse defendant, J.T. Thrope & Sons, Inc. (JTTS), to prevent removal. The plaintiffs responded that they were active in prosecuting those claims in…  

Expert Opinion on Asbestos Content of Insulation — Based in Part on Non-Party Witness Declaration — Sufficient to Create Question of Fact to Overcome Summary Judgment

In this case, it was claimed that the decedent, Michael O’Leary, was exposed to asbestos while working as a rigger at the Tosco Refinery in the 1970s to late 1980s near employees from the defendant, Dillingham Construction N.A., Inc., who were sweeping up insulation off the floor in his vicinity. The trial court precluded the opinion that the insulation contained asbestos as being speculative from the plaintiff’s expert, Charles Ay, and granted summary judgment to Dillingham. On appeal, the court found the expert’s opinion to…  

Mixed Rulings on Daubert Challenges and Motions for Summary Judgment by Employer on Employees’ Non-Occupational Asbestos Exposure Claims

In this decision, there were eight separate actions against Weyerhaeuser Company involving private and public nuisance claims brought by, or on the behalf of, former employees of Weyerhaeuser for asbestos-related injuries based on non-occupational exposure. Weyerhaeuser used asbestos in its mineral core plant to manufacture a door core. The plaintiffs non-occupational exposure claims were based on their living, or being, in close proximity to the plant. Weyerhaeuser “moved to strike plaintiffs’ experts and for summary judgment, arguing that plaintiffs are unable to prove injuries beyond…  

Airplane Manufacturer Granted Dismissal in N.Y. Federal Court Action for Lack of Jurisdiction Even Though Registered to do Business and Appointed an Agent for Service of Process

In this federal court case, it was alleged that the decedent, Walter Brown, was exposed to asbestos while serving as an airplane mechanic in the U.S. Air force from 1950-1970. During that time, he worked at various bases in Europe and in the U.S. in Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, New Mexico, and Michigan. Prior to his passing, the decedent, who was living in Alabama, sued 14 companies, including Lockheed Martin Corporation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. A motion…  

Daubert Challenge of Plaintiff’s Experts Denied in Career Boilermaker Case

The plaintiff in this case alleged that the decedent, Michael Walashek, was exposed to asbestos from various products while working as a boilermaker between 1967 and 1986 on various naval, commercial, and industrial vessels. The defendant, Foster Wheeler LLC, filed a motion to preclude the testimony of the plaintiff’s experts Dr. Edwin Holstein ad Dr. Michael Claude Fishbein on the grounds that their opinions do not satisfy the requirements of Fed. R. Evid. 702 and Daubert. The court denied the motion. Regarding Dr. Fishbein,…  

Federal Court Remands Case to State Court Based on Plaintiff’s Waiver of Federal Claims Against Removing Defendant

On June 15, 2015, plaintiffs Charles Ford and Carol Ford filed an action in the Alameda County Superior Court alleging state law claims for Mr. Ford’s exposure to asbestos from numerous defendants. Defendant Foster Wheeler Energy removed the matter to federal court in November 2015 following Mr. Ford’s testimony that he worked aboard the USS Oklahoma City while working for the Bethlehem Shipyards in the late 1960s. In December 2015, the laintiffs filed a notice of waiver, which stated that they waive any claims against…  

Bankruptcy Stay Lifted Against Defendant/Debtor to Allow Plaintiffs to Pursue State Law Claims

In this case, the defendant that used asbestos in some of its production while in business filed chapter 11. There remained 123 claims against the defendant and the defendant’s proposed chapter 11 plan stated that the “liability issues will pass through the bankruptcy and be tried in non-bankruptcy courts having jurisdiction.” The defendant objected to the Asbestos Committee’s motion to lift the automatic stay, arguing the stay should remain in place pending plan confirmation. In its analysis, the court applied the Fernstrom three-part balancing test…  

Defendants, Miners and Suppliers of Talc, Granted Motions to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Claim of Market Share Liability as Manufacturer of the Product was Identifiable

In this case, it is alleged that the plaintiff, Keri Logiudice, contracted mesothelioma from her use of Cashmere Bouquet cosmetic talcum powder. The defendants, Cyprus Amax Minerals and Imerys Talc America Inc., mined and supplied talc to Colgate, the manufacturer of Cashmere Bouquet, and moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s sixth cause of action for market share liability. In its decision, the court explained: “In a products liability action, identification of the exact defendant whose product injured the plaintiff is generally required (see Hymowitz v Eli  

On Remand, Federal Court Again Grants Summary Judgment on Plaintiff’s Maritime and State Law Claims

In this federal court case, the court’s jurisdiction was based solely on the plaintiff’s assertion of maritime jurisdiction as set forth in in his fourth amended complaint. The plaintiff brought claims against 54 defendants that manufactured asbestos-containing products that the decedent, Christopher Curtis, was allegedly exposed to in three different situations: From 1955-58 while he served in the Navy, while employed as an electrician for 40 years, and while performing maintenance on his automobiles. The plaintiff settled against many of the 54 defendants, and other…  

Several Defendants Not Named in Plaintiffs’ Interrogatory Answers Move for Summary Judgment With Various Results

In this case, the plaintiff, Mark Denison, claimed exposure to asbestos from numerous products while working at his father’s hardware store from 1964-65 to 1969, Dunkirk Radiator from 1972 to 1987, and from his own automotive repair business from 1980 to the early 1990s.  Defendants Bird, Inc., Euclid-Hitachi Heavy Equipment, Inc., F.E. Myers, Oshkosh Corporation, and WT/HRC Corporation all moved for summary judgment. In its ruling, the court highlighted that none of the moving defendants were identified in the plaintiffs’ answers to interrogatories. The court…  

Gasket Manufacturers’ Motions for Summary Judgment and Motion to Change Venue Denied in Naval Exposure Case

In this federal court case, the plaintiff alleged he was exposed to asbestos in various products through the course of his employment in the 1960s and 1970s. He specifically alleged asbestos exposure from working with gaskets manufactured by Excelsior Packing & Gasket Company and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company while serving in the Navy from 1970 to 1975 aboard the U.S.S. Surfbird and U.S.S. Hector. On both ships, the plaintiff’s duties included replacing gaskets on pumps, valves, and boilers. He testified to changing flange gaskets…  

Valve Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment Under Maritime Law Where it May Have Recommended, But Did Not Provide, Asbestos-Containing Flange Gaskets

In this federal court case, it is alleged that the decedent, Thomas Dandridge, was exposed to asbestos while working as a pipefitter and coppersmith at the Charleston Naval Shipyard from 1965 to 1976. It was claimed that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from a variety of products, including flange gaskets used to link Crane Co. valves to pipe lines. The case was originally brought in the court of common pleas in Charleston County and was later removed federal court, where Crane moved for summary…  

Two Rulings From MDL Allow Previously Dismissed Asbestos Claims to Proceed Against Various Ship Owners Despite Previous Dismissed Actions Not Listed as Assets in Bankruptcy

In a follow-up to six cases previously reported on in ACT, two more cases were decided in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Both cases had started in the Northern District of Ohio, and were transferred to the MDL 875 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In both cases, the plaintiffs brought claims against various ship owners represented by Thompson Hine LLP, and all alleged asbestos exposure while working on ships. All cases were administratively dismissed; after dismissal, the plaintiffs…  

Granting of Summary Judgment Upheld on Appeal; Court Rules Time to File Suit Began with Prior Diagnosis of Asbestosis Based on Virginia Statute of Limitations

The plaintiff in this case alleges that the decedent, Vincent Gatto, was exposed to asbestos while self-employed as a brick mason in Virginia. The decedent was diagnosed with asbestosis in 2003 and then with mesothelioma in 2010. The action was filed in 2011.  Following the close of discovery, several defendants moved for summary judgment “based upon the Virginia statute of limitations, Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-243(A), which requires that an action for personal injury must be brought within two years after the cause of action…  

In Case Where Steamfitter Worked on its Premises, Owner Denied Summary Judgment Based on the Wisconsin Safe Place to Work Statute

In yet another follow-up decision in the Ahnert case out of Wisconsin federal court, Pabst Brewing Company moved for summary judgment. As previously reported, Foster Wheeler was granted summary judgment, but insulation contractor, Sprinkmann Sons Corp. was denied summary judgment based on the Wisconsin statute of repose. The decedent was a union Steamfitter from 1955 to 1992 and claimed exposure to asbestos while working on Pabst’s premises. In its motion, Pabst argued that there was no evidence that decedent was exposed to asbestos from…  

Prior Release Found Inadequate to Dismiss Future Jones Act/FELA Claims Based on Development of Mesothelioma

In this NYCAL case, the Maritime Asbestos Legal Clinic originally filed a suit in 1997 on behalf of the decedent, Mason South, in the Northern District of Ohio. The decedent served in the Merchant Marines from 1945 to 1982. Less than two months later the case settled, with Texaco Inc. being one of the settled defendants. In 2014, the decedent was diagnosed with and died from complications related to mesothelioma. In 2015, the decedent’s wife commenced another action under the Jones Act arising from her…