Author Archives: Lynn A. Lehnert

Magistrate Judge Recommends No Personal Jurisdiction Over Exelon Corporation in Delaware U.S. District Court of Delaware, September 14, 2017

DELAWARE — Plaintiffs Michael and Sally Harding filed claims in Delaware state court due to Michael Harding’s exposure to asbestos while working as a pipefitter for the United States Navy from 1963-67. Defendant Crane Co. removed to federal court. Defendant Exelon Corporation moved for dismissal due to lack of personal jurisdiction. Exelon was not a Delaware business entity and did not have a principal place of business in Delaware.  The plaintiffs did not respond to Exelon’s motion to dismiss. The magistrate judge recommended granting this…

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Summary Judgment Granted to Premises Owner Because Asbestos Not Inherent on the Premise Superior Court of Delaware, August 30, 2017

Plaintiff Sandra Kivell alleged her husband developed and died from mesothelioma due to his asbestos exposure as a union pipefitter and welder.  Defendant Union Carbide moved for summary judgment, which was granted. Union Carbide was a premises owner of a petrochemical facility in Taft, Louisiana, where decedent worked from January 1967-October 1969.  Decedent did not work for and did not receive instruction from Union Carbide, which employed third-party contractors to build process units.  Decedent testified he ran pipe and worked side by side with insulators.  …

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In Talc Case, Gaps in Chain of Custody Lead to Partial Exclusion of Opinions of Plaintiff’s Geologist California Court of Appeal, August 25, 2017

Plaintiff Delgadina Alfaro alleged the development of mesothelioma due to asbestos contained in talcum powder she used as a child. The jury found for defendants Colgate-Palmolive Company, the manufacturer of Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder, and Imerys Talc America, Inc., the successor-in-interest to talc suppliers for Colgate, including Cyprus. The plaintiff appealed, and the court affirmed. The plaintiff claimed that her mother and grandmother used Cashmere Bouquet and that she used it as well. Her years of exposure were 1977-90. Colgate made Cashmere Bouquet from 1871-1985,…

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Conflicting X-Ray Reports Subject for Cross-Examination, Not Grounds to Compel a CT Scan Superior Court of the Virgin Islands, August 23, 2017

Defendants Hess Oil Virgin Islands Corporation and Hess Corporation filed a motion to compel plaintiff Andrew Wilson to undergo a CT scan of his chest to determine whether there was any objective evidence of lung disease. The court denied the motion to compel. Wilson alleged asbestos exposure and the development of asbestosis due to his work at the oil refinery on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The plaintiff’s case was consolidated with over a hundred cases. The court ordered the plaintiffs to provide…

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Insulation Used On Nuclear Prototype “Ordinary Consumer Product” and Not Subject to Military Contractor Defense U.S. District Court, Central District of California, August 21, 2017

Plaintiffs Wayne and Tina Yocum filed a renewed motion to remand which defendant CBS Corporation (Westinghouse) opposed. Wayne Yocum was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died on February 5, 2017. Without oral argument, the court granted the plaintiffs’ renewed motion to remand. Wayne Yocum served in the Navy from 1965-75. Westinghouse supplied the asbestos-containing insulation that was used in his presence during his naval training on the A1W, a working prototype of a nuclear propulsion system. The plaintiffs originally filed this action in California, and only…

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Pump Manufacturer Obtains Summary Judgment Based on Lack of Maintenance History and Identification of Replacement Parts Superior Court of Delaware, August 18, 2017

Plaintiff Jill Dudley alleged that her husband Frank worked on pumps from 1966-67 while employed at Cam Chemical Company in Detroit, Michigan. Defendant FMC moved for summary judgment, which the court granted. Frank Dudley testified that at least ten pumps were made by Chicago Pump; he broke down these pumps and repaired the gaskets. The court applied Michigan law, which required proof that the injured plaintiff was exposed to an asbestos-containing product for which a defendant was responsible. Michigan law also applied the substantial factor…

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Consideration of Decedent’s Specific Exposure History Renders Testimony of Dr. Jacqueline Moline Reliable U.S. District Court, New Jersey, August 4, 2017

Decedent Gerald Hoffeditz alleged asbestos exposure from automotive and heavy equipment repair on various vehicles, including large military trucks while working at the Letterkenny Army Depot. He subsequently passed away from mesothelioma. Various defendants moved to exclude the evidence and testimony put forth by the plaintiff’s expert Dr. Jacqueline Moline. The court denied this motion. For expert testimony to be admitted, the proffered witness must: (1) be qualified; (2) testify about matters requiring scientific, technical or specialized knowledge (reliability), and (3) assist the trier of…

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Remand Granted Where Defendant Failed to Show Government Exercised Control Over Warnings and Safety U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, August 4, 2017

Plaintiff Robert Templet, Sr. alleged asbestos exposure during his work for defendant Avondale Industries, Inc. The plaintiff was employed by Avondale from 1968-2002, and later developed malignant pleural mesothelioma. Defendants Avondale and Lamorak Insurance Company removed to federal court due to the federal officer removal statute. The plaintiff moved to remand. The court granted the motion and remanded this case back to the State of Louisiana. Avondale based its removal on the plaintiff’s deposition testimony wherein he testified that they worked on Navy Destroyer Escorts…

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Wrongful Death Claims Barred by Res Judicata from Prior Loss of Consortium Case California Court of Appeal, July 11, 2017

In this wrongful death case, plaintiff Janet Stewart appealed the grant of summary judgment to Union Carbide that her loss of consortium claim was barred by res judicata. The plaintiff also argued a miscarriage of justice in the setoff of her deceased husband’s settlement with two asbestos bankruptcy trusts against her entire economic damage award. The court affirmed both rulings. Larry Stewart worked as a plumber from 1968-2007 when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He and his wife filed a personal injury lawsuit (Stewart I).…

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Various Rulings Issued on Motions in Limine in Trial; Plaintiffs’ Motion to Exclude Defense Experts Denied U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, July 7, 2017

The court issued various rulings on motions in limine filed by both the plaintiffs and defendant John Crane in this matter that is set for trial on July 17, 2017. The decedent died of mesothelioma. Many of the motions were unopposed. Below are summaries of the more pertinent rulings. Regarding the plaintiff’s motions, the plaintiff argued that the defendant should be barred from disclosing that some corporations were in bankruptcy. The defendants opposed the motion because under Wisconsin law, any claims plaintiffs have submitted to…

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