Author Archives: Lynn A. Lehnert

Laws of Two States Applied to Two Different Issues U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, March 6, 2017

The plaintiff alleged the decedent, who died of mesothelioma, was exposed to asbestos while serving as an engineman, machinery repairman, and machinist mate in the U.S. Navy during the 1960s. Although the majority of the decedent’s exposure occurred on four ships, to which maritime law applied, the plaintiff also alleged exposure during the six months decedent trained at a land-based naval academy in Idaho. Here the court decided whether Idaho or Louisiana applied to this six-month time frame. The plaintiff argued Louisiana law applied, and…

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Personal Jurisdiction Decision by Missouri Supreme Court to Significantly Impact Asbestos Litigation in Missouri

St. Louis City, Missouri is often termed a “judicial hellhole” for corporate defendants in product liability actions, most notably in asbestos litigation. Until recently, Missouri courts offered little guidance on what constituted general jurisdiction for corporate defendants in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S.Ct. 746 (2014). In Daimler, the Supreme Court held that absent exceptional circumstances, a company is only subject to general jurisdiction in its state of formation or where it has its principal…

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California Jury Awards $10 Million to Mesothelioma Plaintiff Who Worked with Asbestos Pipe Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, March 1, 2017

Plaintiffs Michael and Cindy Burch filed suit against various defendants, including a pipe manufacturer, alleging that Michael Burch developed pleural mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure. After a seven week jury trial, the jury found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded $10 million. In doing so, the jury found that the pipe manufacturer misrepresented and concealed the health risks of handling and working with its product. The plaintiff cut, drilled, and installed asbestos cement pipe while working for J.C. Plumbing Company and Valley Engineers in…

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Lack of Factual Basis for Plaintiffs’ Assertion of Causation Yields Grant of Summary Judgment Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, March 2, 2017

After the decedent died of mesothelioma, her husband and adult son filed a wrongful death and survivorship complaint against numerous defendants. W.W. Henry Company, predecessor to the Henry Company (who was also named and not a party to this motion) filed a motion for summary judgment based upon lack of exposure. The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s granting of this motion. The plaintiffs alleged exposure to asbestos from the early 1970s-early 1980s during the decedent’s work as an art teacher and sculptor, and from…

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“Discovery Rule” Applied for Plaintiffs’ Claim to Survive Two-Year Statue of Limitations U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, March 2, 2017

The plaintiffs asserted that the decedent, Joseph Conneen, was exposed to asbestos while working as a pipefitter and plumber from 1962-80 at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and Rohm and Haas. The decedent died of lung cancer. The complaint was filed on January 20, 2015. In March 2015, the case was removed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania as part of MDL-875. Defendant Goulds moved for summary judgment on the basis of Pennsylvania’s two-year statute of limitations. The court denied this…

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Madison County Jury Renders Defense Verdict for Brake Grinder Manufacturer Madison County, Illinois, Third Judicial Circuit, February 28, 2017

Plaintiffs Stan and Janet Urban, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, filed a lawsuit in Madison County, Illinois in March 2013. The plaintiffs alleged Mr. Urban developed mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure from using Ammco brake grinders while employed as a high school auto technology teacher. Defendant Hennessy Industries was the last remaining defendant at trial. Ammco is Hennessy’s predecessor. The jury disagreed with the plaintiffs’ request for $10 million, and rendered a verdict in favor of Hennessy. The plaintiffs argued that Hennessy had the power to…

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Magistrate Judge Recommends Granting Summary Judgment to Four Defendants Due to Lack of Evidence U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, February 15, 2017

A report and recommendation was made regarding four summary judgment motions filed by defendants Gardner Denver, Flowserve, Atwood & Morrill Company, and Nash Engineering. The plaintiffs did not respond to any of the motions for summary judgment. The magistrate judge recommended granting all four motions. The plaintiffs originally filed in Delaware state court, alleging that Icom Henry Evans developed mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure while a fireman and boiler tender with the U.S. Navy from 1957-1967. Foster Wheeler removed to federal court. The only fact…

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Favorable Defense Discovery Rulings, Including Preclusion of Treating Physicians from Testifying as Experts U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, February 2, 2017

The district court issued two opinions in the same case, issuing various rulings on motions brought by both parties. The plaintiff alleged he developed lung cancer from asbestos exposure while employed by Freeport Sulphur Company, predecessor to Mosaic Global Holdings, Inc. This case started in Louisiana state court, and was removed by Mosaic. The primary rulings on these motions are summarized below. The plaintiff moved to exclude evidence of settled claims and collateral sources of compensation. The defendants argued that both settlement agreements and collateral…

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Automotive Parts Manufacturers Granted Summary Judgment in Secondary Exposure Case Court of Appeal of California, February 2, 2017

The plaintiff sued various automotive parts manufacturers, alleging secondary asbestos exposure from the work of his father, a mechanic. The plaintiff had been diagnosed with mesothelioma. The plaintiff’s father worked at Bekins warehouse from June 1974-May 1982, where he did brake, clutch, and engine gasket repair. The plaintiff visited his father at work, helped him at work, and father’s clothes were washed at home. Products identified in discovery included: two Ford trucks; four International semi-truck tractors; Rockwell axles; Carlisle brake linings; Grizzley brake linings (Maremont,…

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Summary Judgment Granted to Asbestos Paper Products Manufacturer in Take-Home Exposure Case Based on No Duty to Warn Superior Court of Delaware, February 2, 2017

Plaintiff Dorothy Ramsey, through her estate, alleged that the defendant Georgia Southern University Advanced Development Center (Herty) negligently failed to warn her of the risks of take-home exposure to Herty’s asbestos paper products used at her husband’s work from 1976-80. She alleged this exposure caused her to develop lung cancer. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing it did not owe Plaintiff a duty of care. The central issue in this case was whether Price v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. and Riedel

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