Author Archives: Scott J. McDowell

Court’s Refusal to Exercise Supplemental Jurisdiction Over Dismissed Defendant Leads to Remand U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, September 18, 2017

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff filed this action against several defendants, including Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, Limited (IDC), alleging he developed lung cancer from exposure to asbestos containing products for which the defendants were responsible. Immediately after the suit was filed, the plaintiff moved to dismiss claims against IDC. A co-defendant stevedoring company filed a third party complaint for contribution and/or indemnification against IDC before the court ruled on the pending motion to dismiss. IDC then removed the case to federal court. The plaintiffs…

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Plaintiff Awarded Attorneys’ Fees and Costs for Improper Removal U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, September 15, 2017

WASHINGTON — Plaintiff Barbadin filed suit against defendants including Scapa Dryer Fabrics and AstenJohnsten, Inc. (defendants) alleging exposure to asbestos containing products for which the defendants were responsible. Scapa removed the matter on April 17, 2017.  The plaintiff quickly moved for remand and sought fees and costs. The court noted that it had previously remanded this case one time. The court concluded that Scapa had taken “inconsistent positions in an effort to keep this action in federal court” and used “untenable arguments.” The court also…

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Collateral Estoppel Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Pump Manufacturer U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, September 11, 2017

MISSOURI — The plaintiffs filed suit in Missouri against multiple defendants including Buffalo Pumps, arguing that their decedent, Berj Hovsepian, developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos containing products for which the defendants were responsible. The case was removed to the U.S. District Court. Prior to filing the Missouri suit, the plaintiffs filed suit against Buffalo in Massachusetts asserting very similar allegations. Buffalo moved for summary judgment in the Massachusetts case. The motion was granted as unopposed. In the instant matter, Buffalo moved…

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Gasket Manufacturer’s Summary Judgment Affirmed Where Plaintiff Failed to Timely Disclose Exposure Affidavits of Fact Witness Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga County, September 7, 2017

Plaintiff Paul Heaton sued multiple defendants including an automotive gasket manufacturer and Honeywell International alleging his decedent, Robert Brawley, developed mesothelioma for which defendants were responsible. Fact witness Michael Victor was deposed on Brawley’s use of the gasket manufacturer’s gaskets on shade tree mechanic work from 1974-2010. The deposition lasted three days. On day one of Victor’s deposition, he denied having any knowledge regarding Brawley’s work on home renovations. However, Honeywell probed on that issue later during the deposition. The plaintiff’s counsel refused to permit…

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Prior Settlement Enforced Under FELA Leading to Dismissal of Action Supreme Court of West Virginia, August 31, 2017

The plaintiff filed suit against defendants including Norfolk Southern Railroad Company (NSRC), alleging his decedent, Aaron Cole, developed lung cancer as a result of his work as a machinist for NSRC. NSRC sought dismissal based on the fact that Cole had previously released NSRC from future liability in May of 2000. Originally, Cole filed suit in 1996 alleging occupational pneumoconiosis including asbestosis. He later signed a release with NSRC for $20,000.  The release in pertinent part stated that the plaintiff “does hereby release and forever…

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Prior Settlement that Included Future Claims Not Enough to Grant Motion for Summary Judgment Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, August 29, 2017

Plaintiffs Mason South and his wife filed suit under the Jones Act against several defendants, including Texaco, alleging his mesothelioma developed as a result of exposure to asbestos containing products for which defendants were responsible. Mr. South served as a merchant marine for 37 years. Texaco moved for summary judgment arguing that suit was precluded by a prior release signed by the plaintiff in an earlier lawsuit from 1997. Specifically, Mr. South had released Texaco from “all bodily and/or personal injuries, sickness or death” from…

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Summary Judgment Recommended for Naval Boiler Manufacturer on Issues of Product Identification and Bare Metal Defense

The plaintiff filed suit alleging Mr. Tallman developed mesothelioma while serving in the U.S. Navy from 1947-67. Foster Wheeler removed the case to the United States District Court. Mr. Tallman served on board the USS Caloosahatchee as a boiler tender from 1948-56. Specifically, the plaintiff contended that Mr. Tallman’s mesothelioma developed as a result of exposure to asbestos for which Foster Wheeler was responsible. Two fact witnesses were offered for deposition. Mr. Nealon testified that he served on board the USS Caloosahatchee from 1951-54. He…

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Summary Judgment Granted For Plaintiff’s Failure to File Complaint Within the Statute of Limitations Superior Court of Delaware, August 18, 2017

Ms. Bagwell filed suit against several defendants, alleging her husband developed lung cancer from asbestos related to Borg Warner clutches. The plaintiff’s brother was the sole fact witness who recalled his brother performing clutch work starting in 1965 through the 1980s approximately one time per week. The plaintiff’s expert report stated that the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos containing products including exposure to asbestos from the clutches. Mr. Bagwell was diagnosed in May of 2009 and passed away on January 28, 2010. The plaintiff’s complaint…

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Plaintiff’s Medical Expert Permitted to Testify After Reversal of Judgment Barring Opinion California Court of Appeals, August 14, 2017

Plaintiffs brought suit against several defendants including TRZ Realty, alleging their decedent developed colon cancer as a result of occupational exposure to asbestos. William Duty worked as a drywall taper for over 40 years. Before trial, TRZ filed a motion in limine challenging Dr. Revels Cayton’s qualifications to testify as to the causal connection between colorectal cancer and Plaintiff’s exposure to asbestos. After the trial court’s hearing, the court disqualified Dr. Cayton. The plaintiffs conceded they could not prevail at trial without his testimony. The…

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Loss of Consortium Claim Dismissed Where Wrongful Death Statute Controls U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, August 9, 2017

The plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants, alleging her decedent developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos containing products. Within the complaint, Ms. Stewart added a count for loss of consortium. The defendant moved to dismiss the loss of consortium count pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The plaintiff filed no response. The court quickly analyzed its review of a case while sitting in diversity. The court noted that “if state substantive law has denied a plaintiff a remedy for his…

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