Author Archives: Lynn A. Lehnert

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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Fire Door Manufacturer Obtains Summary Judgment in NYCAL; No Duty to Warn Against Latent Dangers from Unforeseeable Use of Product Supreme Court of New York, January 30, 2017

Defendants International Paper Company and Owens-Illinois, Inc. moved for summary judgment, which was granted. All Craft Fabricators, Inc. was hired to do millwork in refurbishing the United Nations headquarters. The general contractor issued a change order to use salvaged wood panels and doors from the Under-Secretary General’s office. These materials were resized and cut for use as interior cabinets at the United Nations building. External testing performed by All Craft showed that the dust from these materials contained asbestos. An affidavit from a professional engineer…

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In Bystander Exposure Case, Plaintiff Failed to Demonstrate that Defendant Had a Duty to Warn Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, January 27, 2017

Plaintiff Daniel Hiett developed mesothelioma and alleged bystander exposure from his father’s work. The plaintiff alleged negligence and strict liability claims based on a failure to warn theory. The circuit court granted defendant AC&R Insulation Company, Inc,.’s (AC&R) motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff appealed, arguing that several material facts distinguished their case from Georgia Pacific, LLC v. Farrar, 432 Md. 532 (2013), which held that a manufacturer/distributor of a product containing asbestos did not owe a duty to warn the household member of…

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State of Montana Properly Joined to Defeat Diversity Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, January 30, 2017

The plaintiff is the surviving spouse of Susan McDowell, who died from mesothelioma. The plaintiff alleged exposure to asbestos-contaminated vermiculite discarded from railcars while being transported from the Libby, Montana mine by Burlington Northern Santa Fe. The state of Montana (State) began inspecting the mine in the 1950s and found hazardous levels of asbestos within the vermiculite. The State did not correct the hazard or warn Libby residents. The plaintiff sued numerous entities, including BNSF and the State of Montana. The defendants removed this case…

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Certain Bankruptcy Trust Information Ruled Discoverable in Louisiana U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, January 23, 2017

The plaintiff alleged he developed lung cancer due to his asbestos exposure while working on the premises of Freeport’s Port Sulphur facility, other facilities, and various drilling rigs. The defendants removed to federal court on the bases of original jurisdiction under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. The plaintiff filed a motion to quash subpoena and notice of records deposition, and a motion for protective order. The court analyzed both at the same time, as both contained substantially the same arguments. Defendant McCarty Corporation issued…

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Tennessee Law Applied Over Virginia Law in Case Filed in Rhode Island; Tort Factors and Interest Factors Both Supported Tennessee Law Superior Court of Rhode Island, January 18, 2017

The plaintiffs alleged both direct and secondary exposure to asbestos by Harold Murray, leading to his development of mesothelioma. Mr. Murray worked in both Tennessee and Virginia. The plaintiffs lived in Tennessee. The defendants filed a motion to apply the law of Tennessee, while the plaintiffs argued for Virginia law. The court ruled that Tennessee was the correct choice of law. The defendants argued that under Rhode Island choice-of-law principles, Tennessee law applied; the plaintiffs were domiciled in Tennessee, the plaintiff was diagnosed in Tennessee,…

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