Author Archives: James F. Coleman

Case Remanded to Determine Setoff Amounts from Settlements with Asbestos Trusts Supreme Court of Mississippi, February 15, 2018

MISSISSIPPI — On February 13, 2009, Clara Hagan filed a complaint, as the representative of Bennie Oakes, against Illinois Central Railroad in the Warren County Circuit Court. The complaint, brought under the provisions of the Federal Employers Liability Act, sought to recover damages for personal injuries and/or death sustained by decedent Bennie Oakes while decedent was employed by Illinois Central and while engaging in interstate commerce. The decedent was employed by Illinois Central from 1952 through 1994 and alleged he was exposed to asbestos “on…

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Exclusion of Decedent’s Deposition Testimony Upheld due to Lack of Meaningful Opportunity for Cross Examination Superior Court of Delaware, February 7, 2018

DELAWARE — Plaintiff William Sykes filed suit in March of 2014 against numerous defendants after being diagnosed with mesothelioma in October, 2013. The plaintiff’s counsel requested expedited trial and discovery depositions due to Plaintiff’s rapidly deteriorating health; a video trial deposition was taken on April 16, 2014. During a break in the trial deposition, the plaintiff informed counsel that he was unable to complete the remainder of the deposition. At that time, the parties were left with only the video trial deposition and no cross…

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Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand to State Court Denied After Court Finds Federal Jurisdiction under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, January 24, 2018

LOUISIANA — On June 16, 2017, plaintiff Federico Lopez filed suit against 15 defendants, claiming that his exposure to asbestos as a welder and pipefitter at numerous locations caused his mesothelioma.  Defendants Shell Oil Company and Tennessee Gas Pipeline, LLC, removed the action, invoking federal subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), 43 U.S.C. Section 1349(b), and alternatively, pursuant to federal question jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. Section 1331.  Further, the defendants contended that the court had supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s…

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Plaintiffs’ Asbestos-Related Claims Time-Barred Due to Prior Settlement Agreement U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, January 4, 2018

LOUISIANA — Plaintiffs-Appellants are the widow and surviving children of Raymond J. Lemieux, Sr.. Mr. Lemieux, Sr. worked for Johns-Manville in Marrero, Louisiana from 1956 to 1970 during which time he wore a respirator designed by American Optical, Defendant-Appellee. Raymond, Sr. developed asbestos-related lung cancer, which eventually caused his death in 2015; prior to his death, he filed suit in 2011 against American Optical stemming from his use of their respirator. Represented by his attorney, Raymond, Sr. entered into settlement negotiations with American Optical. The…

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Superior Court Affirms Five Post-Trial Rulings, Remands to Trial Court for Apportionment Under Pennsylvania Fair Share Act Superior Court of Pennsylvania, December 28, 2017

PENNSYLVANIA — Appellee William Roverano initially filed suit in 2014 against multiple defendants, alleging that his lung cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos while employed by PECO between 1971-81. Appellee Jacqueline Roverano also made a claim for loss of consortium. More than a dozen of the named defendants had filed for bankruptcy, and only John Crane, Inc. and Brand Insulations, Inc. had not settled before the jury’s verdict. Prior to the trial, the court held that the Fair Share Act, 42 Pa.C.S. Section 7102,…

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Personal Jurisdiction Defense Waived in Maritime Multidistrict Litigation U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, December 28, 2017

Appellants George Perdreauville and Joseph Blue, along with thousands of other seamen, initially filed lawsuits in the late 1980s in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio under the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. Section 304 et seq., and general maritime law, alleging injury from exposure to asbestos while onboard the Appellees’ various ships. A lengthy and complex procedural course ensued, and, in 1991, the suits were consolidated in the Asbestos Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern…

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Claire’s Removes Children’s Makeup Kits After Reported Positive Asbestos Tests

Claire’s Stores Inc. removed nine children’s makeup products from store shelves after a report by WJAR-TV that tremolite asbestos was found in various Claire’s kits. Claire’s released a statement, saying that initial testing found the cosmetics to be asbestos-free, but that “out of an abundance of caution, additional testing is underway.” Claire’s further stated that the talcum powder used in its products is from a certified asbestos-free European vendor. A Rhode Island mother was the first to report the potential problem. Kristi Warner, an attorney…

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Plaintiff’s Testimony about Secondary Brake Exposure Sufficient to Overcome Summary Judgment U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, December 13, 2017

OHIO – Plaintiff Julia Alexander filed suit against multiple defendants after she was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in May of 2016. The plaintiff alleges that she was exposed to asbestos via Bendix brake products which were manufactured by Honeywell International. The plaintiff testified that she visited her fiancé, an automobile mechanic, two to three times per week for four hours a visit from 1987-91. Throughout this period, the plaintiff alleges she observed her fiancé performing brake work on a variety of vehicles one to three…

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Mesothelioma Verdict Reduced by $4.3 Million on Appeal Supreme Court, State of New York, November 8, 2017

NEW YORK — Plaintiff Mary Nash filed suit on behalf of the plaintiff’s decedent, Lewis Nash, alleging bystander exposure to asbestos-containing dust from defendant Navistar’s brakes and gaskets while working as a janitor and bus driver in the Fayettteville-Manluis Central School District. The decedent’s exposure occurred in the bus garage at the school, where decedent routinely spent time during his bus runs. The jury awarded the plaintiff the following: three million dollars in conscious pain and suffering; three million dollars in emotional pain and suffering…

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Lack of Product Specific Expert Testimony About Respirable Asbestos Fibers Reverses Mesothelioma Verdict Supreme Court of Connecticut, November 2, 2017

CONNECTICUT — Plaintiff Marianne Bradley, as executrix of her husband Wayne Bagley’s estate, sought to recover damages pursuant to Connecticut’s Product Liability Act for the wrongful death of the decedent under theories of negligence and strict liability. Plaintiff alleged that the decedent was exposed to asbestos-containing dust from FM-37, a product manufactured by the defendant, while working at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and this exposure caused decedent’s mesothelioma. The plaintiff further alleged that the defendant’s actions in selling its product constituted violations of the Act in…

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