Scott J. McDowell

All articles by Scott J. McDowell

 

Remand Denied Upon Plaintiff’s Failure to Properly Disclaim Federal Officer Removal

ILLINOIS – The plaintiff Janice Reinbold filed suit against several defendants alleging her decedent, Gerald Reinbold, developed lung cancer from occupational exposure to asbestos while working as a shipfitter at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, amongst other sources. Defendant Crane Company (Crane) removed the case to federal court asserting Federal Officer Removal. The plaintiff moved to remand. The court reminded the parties of the standard for Federal Officer Removal, and stated that the statute allows removal when “action is brought against the United States or…  

Denial of Worker’s Compensation Benefits Affirmed Upon Plaintiff Failure to Meet Statutory Requirements

NORTH CAROLINA – The plaintiff Edmund Preslar filed for Workers’ Compensation Benefits claiming that he was entitled to compensation under the statute for his development of asbestosis attributed to his work at the Johns Manville Marchville facility from 1967-1968. The commission denied his claim stating that he had not worked long enough to be eligible for benefits under the statute. The plaintiff appealed and his representative was substituted after he passed away from a non-asbestos cause. On appeal, the court noted the standard for commission…  

Federal Officer Removal Statute Found Inapplicable in Negligence Claim Against Shipyard Defendant; Remand Granted

LOUISIANA – The plaintiff, Gregory Brown brought this action against several defendants including Avondale Shipyard (Avondale) claiming that he developed lung cancer from exposure to asbestos while working for Avondale at its shipyard on and off from 1967-1971. Specifically, Mr. Brown worked as a cleanup man, tacker, and insulator helper. He also claimed exposure to asbestos from his employment for other employers from 1965- 1978. The plaintiff was deposed and gave testimony regarding his work on ships while at Avondale but did not state that…  

Summary Judgment Affirmed in Railroad Case Upon Plaintiff’s Failure to Preserve Issue for Appeal

PENNSYLVANIA – The plaintiff, Michael Eorio filed suit against multiple defendants including CBS and General Electric (GE) alleging he contracted lung cancer while working as a railroad employee from 1972-2010. The plaintiff and one co-worker alleged Mr. Eorio had been exposed to asbestos containing products for which CBS and GE were liable. The plaintiff passed away prior to trial and a substitution of the plaintiff was entered. CBS and GE moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted summary judgment as to both defendants and…  

Talcum Powder Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Granted on Civil Conspiracy; Denied as to Punitive Damages

NORTH CAROLINA — American International Industries (AII) was sued by plaintiff Lloyd Bell. The plaintiff claimed his decedent had developed mesothelioma from her use of talcum powder during her work as a hairdresser and her education during beauty school. AII moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims for willful and wanton conduct, malice, conspiracy, and punitive damages. The court began its review with the standard for a motion to dismiss. According to the court, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state…  

Dismissal of RICO Suit Against Plaintiffs’ Firms Affirmed Upon a Finding of Lack of Jurisdiction

ILLINOIS — Plaintiff John Crane Inc. (JCI) brought Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) suits against two plaintiffs’ firms in Illinois alleging the firms conspired to hide evidence related to exposure to other asbestos products throughout discovery in numerous cases. The defendants, the Shein Law Center and Simon Greenstone Pantier Bartlett (Simon), moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction. Shein also moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The District Court dismissed for after determining it lacked personal jurisdiction.…  

Post-Trial Motions Denied Against Both Plaintiff and Defendant on Damages and Judgment as a Matter of Law

WASHINGTON – The plaintiff filed suit against the defendants including Scapa Dryer Fabrics (Scapa) alleging her husband, Mr. Barabin, developed mesothelioma as a result of his work at Crown-Zellerbach paper mill in Camas, Washington. Mr. Barabin worked as a spare hand, which included working directly on the paper machines at the mill. Part of his work including using high pressure hoses to blow dust out of the dryers. Suit was brought against the defendants on theories of product liability design, failure to warn, and negligence.…  

Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Over Defendant Leads to Remand and Dismissal

ILLINOIS — The plaintiff brought this action against General Electric (GE) arguing that he developed mesothelioma from exposure during his work at various locations for Republic Steel from 1961-1999. According to the plaintiff, the work took place in Illinois, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. The plaintiff, a resident of Alabama, filed suit in Illinois. GE moved to dismiss the matter for lack of personal jurisdiction. Specifically, GE argued that the plaintiff’s complaint lacked facts establishing personal jurisdiction through Illinois’ long-arm statute. Moreover, GE took the position…  

Wisconsin’s Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act Found Not Applicable in Successor Liability Case Against Refractory Manufacturer

WISCONSIN — In a follow up to Asbestos Case Tracker’s previous post, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin reversed the Court of Appeals’ decision in a recent mesothelioma case involving allegations of fraudulent conveyance by a successor in interest entity. The plaintiff originally filed suit against several defendants including Fire Brick Engineering and Powers Holding claiming they were responsible for her late husband’s development of mesothelioma. Mr. Springer was allegedly exposed to asbestos from 1963-69. The plaintiff filed her suit against Powers naming it as…  

Lack of Causal Nexus Leads to Grant of Remand Against Shipyard Defendant

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff filed suit against several Defendants including Avondale Shipyards. James Latiolais allegedly developed mesothelioma from his work as a machinist onboard the USS Tappahannock. Avondale removed the case after the plaintiff’s deposition concluded. The removal was made pursuant to Federal Officer Removal Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1442 (a)(1). The plaintiff moved to remand. The court began its analysis by discussing the elements associated with Federal Officer Removal. First, the defendant must meet the criteria of being a “person” which includes corporations like…  

Expert and Fact Witness Evidence Establishes Last Day of Exposure for UPS Worker in Workers’ Compensation Commission Award

NORTH CAROLINA — The plaintiff filed an action under North Carolina Workers’ Compensation for alleged development of mesothelioma by her decedent. Mr. Penager worked as a driver for United Parcel Services (UPS) from approximately 1967-98. It was alleged by the plaintiff that Mr. Penegar drove tractor trailers each day and would walk through the mechanic shop after his shift where workers were using compressed air to clean out dust from brake jobs. The Commission found that the plaintiff’s last date of injury from asbestos occurred…  

Summary Judgment Affirmed For Railroad After Plaintiff Settles and Files Subsequent Suit for Lung Cancer

PENNSYLVANIA — The plaintiff filed a claim for Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) against Conrail for the development of alleged asbestosis in 1997. The parties settled in 2004 and executed an agreement that contemplated a release for “all known and unknown…injuries for any and all forms of cancer…” Years later, the plaintiff developed lung cancer and filed suit alleging the injury was a result of exposure to asbestos for which Conrail was liable. Conrail moved for summary judgment arguing that the claim was barred by…  

Plaintiff Survives Motion to Dismiss Upon Adding Additional Allegations in Amended Complaint

WISCONSIN — The plaintiff filed suit against Weyerhauser and its insurer for alleged emissions of asbestos into the Marshfield, Wisconsin community. Plaintiff Michael Kappel moved to add additional allegations to his complaint. Weyerhauser moved to dismiss. The plaintiffs were substituted upon Mr. Kappel’s passing. Weyerhauser sought dismissal on two separate grounds. First, the defendant argued the plaintiffs did not allege Mr. Kappel’s exposure from work at Weyerhauser in an effort to circumvent the exclusivity rules in the local worker’s compensation statute. The court disagreed as…  

Plaintiff’s Age and Medical Condition Proper Criteria under Statute to Set Trial Preference

CALIFORNIA — The Foxes brought this action against several defendants for Ms. Fox’s development of lung cancer and asbestosis from alleged exposure to asbestos containing products from 1954-63. The plaintiffs moved for trial preference pursuant to Code 36 as Ms. Fox was 81 and suffered from declining health. Ms. Fox had also undergone chemotherapy, which had caused side effects according to the plaintiff’s attorney. Of the 18 defendants, only Metalclad Insulation and Sequoia Ventures opposed the motion. The trial court denied the motion to set…  

Failure to Establish Good Cause Leads to Affirmation of Denial of Additional Expert Disclosure

KANSAS — The plaintiff sued the Budd Company alleging her father, Robert Rabe, developed mesothelioma as a result of occupational exposure to asbestos for which the defendant was allegedly liable. Specifically, Rabe claimed exposure to pipe insulation used on railcars built by the defendant. A scheduling order was entered by the magistrate, which called for the disclosure of experts by June 23, 2012 amongst other deadlines. After that deadline passed, the defendant moved without objection for a modification of the expert disclosure deadline to September…  

Remand Granted After Finding that Government Did Not Direct Safety Operations of Shipyard Defendant

LOUISIANA — The plaintiffs brought this action against several defendants including Huntington Ingalls (Ingalls) alleging that their decedent, Tyrone Melancon, was exposed to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. The plaintiffs asserted that Melancon developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos while working at the Avondale Shipyard from 1965-2002. Ingalls. along with others, removed the case to U.S. District Court on federal officer removal. The plaintiffs moved for remand arguing that defendants were not entitled to such removal. According to the court, removal under federal…  

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Appeal of Former Speaker of New York State Senate; Stage Set for Retrial

NEW YORK — Sheldon Silver’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. Silver appealed part of the Second Circuit’s decision overturning his convictions on corruption charges. That decision overturned Silver’s convictions citing improper jury instructions pursuant to the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. McDonald. Silver’s appeal centered on the money laundering charge. For that charge, he argued that a split exists among federal appeals courts as to the prosecutorial requirement linking a transaction to the suspected crime.…  

Summary Judgment Reversed Against Gasket Defendant Despite Contradictory Declaration

CALIFORNIA — The plaintiffs filed suit against dozens of defendants, including Familian Corporation, alleging that Mr. Turley developed an asbestos related disease for which defendants were liable. Specifically, Mr. Turley alleged that he was exposed to asbestos containing cement pipe, pipe collars, gaskets and elbows made by Familian while working at various Pacific Gas and Electric Company locations. Familian moved for summary judgment. The plaintiffs filed an opposition with a declaration from a witness, Paul Scott, who had not been deposed. The declaration implicated Familian…  

Employer Successfully Asserts Constitutional Challenge to Worker’s Compensation Commission Award

MISSOURI — The plaintiffs brought this claim against employer E.J. Cody Company (defendant) alleging her decedent passed from mesothelioma as a result of his occupational exposure to asbestos for which the defendant was liable. Mr. Casey had worked beginning in 1984 as a tile installer for several companies including the defendant. He retired in 1990 and filed suit for mesothelioma in February of 2015. Mr. Casey passed away prior to hearing. At the commission hearing, the plaintiffs agreed they sought claims under statute 287.200.4 (new…  

Contempt Order Vacated Against Boiler Defendant; Discovery Order Stands

ILLINOIS — Cleaver Brooks filed an appeal of the trial court’s ruling of a “friendly contempt” order against it. By way of background, the plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants arguing that he sustained injuries from working with and around asbestos containing parts associated with boilers. At issue were thousands of index cards specific to Cleaver Brooks’ products. The plaintiff sought those index cards through discovery requests. Cleaver Brooks eventually produced certain index cards after multiple discovery hearings at the trial court level. However, Cleaver…  

Removal Upheld on Government Contractor Defense for Turbine and Gasket Manufacturers

NEW YORK — Plaintiffs Michael and Anne Donohue brought suit against multiple defendants including Westinghouse (CBS) and Crane Co. alleging Mr. Donohue contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos containing products for which the defendants were liable. Mr. Donohue claimed exposure from his time working in the Navy and with the New York Fire Department (NYFD). CBS removed the case one day after the plaintiff’s trial deposition. Crane quickly joined the removal. Both asserted the government contractor defense which shields liability in certain instances. The plaintiffs…  

Plaintiff’s FELA Claim Against Railroad Survives Limitations Challenge

MONTANA — The plaintiff worked for Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Corporation (BNSF) and claimed exposure to amphibole containing vermiculite in that capacity as BNSF transported vermiculite for W.R. Grace. The plaintiff filed suit against BNSF for his asbestos related disease under FELA. The trial court granted summary judgment for the defendant and the plaintiff appealed. Prior to the suit, W.R. Grace filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001. A temporary restraining order (TRO) was immediately issued prohibiting any suits against third parties arising from…  

Bestwall LLC Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

Bestwall LLC, a unit of Georgia Pacific, sought bankruptcy protection under U.S. Chapter 11 early Thursday morning. Bestwall LLC filed the petition as a result of towering costs associated with defending asbestos claims around the nation. The filing comes during a period of time in which both state and federal lawmakers ponder proposals to curb asbestos claims. A company statement indicated that Georgia Pacific is unaffected by the filing.…  

Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Causation and Lack of Opposition Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment

KENTUCKY — Rojelio Surita brought this action against several defendants alleging his decedent, Nancy Surita, developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos containing products for which Defendants were liable. Nancy Surita gave deposition testimony stating that she assisted in brake jobs on the family farm while growing up in Illinois. She also recalled maintenance on vehicles while serving in the National Guard. Later she testified as to working on military trucks. Although she recalled Caterpillar as the manufacturer of the transmissions, she testified that she did…  

Reversal of $72 Million Ovarian Cancer/Talc Verdict on Jurisdiction May Lead to Fewer Asbestos Filings in Missouri

MISSOURI — In a case that could lead to fewer asbestos filings in Missouri, Johnson and Johnson successfully argued that the trial court lacked personal jurisdiction over it after a $72 million dollar plaintiff verdict in an ovarian cancer / talc case. Plaintiff Jacqueline Fox was one of 65 plaintiffs who filed suit against Johnson and Johnson (J and J) and Imerys Talc. J and J is a New Jersey resident and Imerys is a Delaware corporation. Both were sued in Missouri. The plaintiffs alleged…  

Standard Based Approach in Bare Metal Defense Permits Sailors to Recover in Negligence

The plaintiffs filed suit in negligence and strict liability against several defendants arguing their decedents died from mesotheliomas as a result of their exposure to asbestos containing products for which defendants were responsible. Both plaintiffs alleged exposure while working on-board naval vessels. The defendants removed the case to federal court and summary judgment was granted in their favor on the bare metal defense. The plaintiff separately appealed on the issues of negligence. The appeal was remanded to sort out the negligence issue against the backdrop…  

Summary Judgment Granted Where Worker’s Compensation Act Bars Plaintiff’s Claims

NORTH CAROLINA — Plaintiffs filed suit against Alcatel Lucent, as successor in interest to Western Electric and Bell Labs (Alcatel), alleging Mr. Moore developed mesothelioma as a result of his work as a cable puller from 1965-95. Alcatel moved for summary judgment, arguing that the North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Act (Act) prohibited the plaintiffs’ claims. The plaintiffs opposed summary judgment and took the position that the exception laid down by the court in Woodson applied. The court’s analysis began with the standard for summary judgment.…  

Application of § 5 of Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) for Releases Remains Clear as Mud

Two plaintiffs in two jurisdictions bargain for settlement in asbestos related claims. Both agree to take money in exchange for a release of all future claims. Both later develop new diseases and sue the same defendant again. Only this time, one court finds the release unenforceable and the other court dismisses the complaint. No doubt the split that exists in federal circuits applying § 5 of FELA is confusing and remains fact intensive. The two predominant rules are found in Babbitt v. Norfolk & Western  

Court’s Refusal to Exercise Supplemental Jurisdiction Over Dismissed Defendant Leads to Remand

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…  

Plaintiff Awarded Attorneys’ Fees and Costs for Improper Removal

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…  

Collateral Estoppel Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Pump Manufacturer

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…  

Gasket Manufacturer’s Summary Judgment Affirmed Where Plaintiff Failed to Timely Disclose Exposure Affidavits of Fact Witness

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…  

Prior Settlement Enforced Under FELA Leading to Dismissal of Action

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…  

Prior Settlement that Included Future Claims Not Enough to Grant Motion for Summary Judgment

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…  

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…  

Summary Judgment Granted For Plaintiff’s Failure to File Complaint Within the Statute of Limitations

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…  

Plaintiff’s Medical Expert Permitted to Testify After Reversal of Judgment Barring Opinion

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…  

Loss of Consortium Claim Dismissed Where Wrongful Death Statute Controls

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…  

Channeling Injunction Prohibits General Motor’s Wrongful Death Suit for Contribution against the Manville Trust

General Motors (GM) filed suit against the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust (Manville) seeking a declaratory order that its state suit against Manville was not barred by the longstanding “Channeling Injunction” of the Manville Corporation’s chapter 11 reorganization (the Plan) and subsequent order confirming the same. Separate from the declaratory complaint, GM filed suit in Ohio state court against the estate of Bobby Bolen and multiple asbestos defendants including Manville. GM alleged the defendants were jointly and severally liable to GM as it had subrogated…  

Plaintiffs’ Daubert Challenge Denied as Expert Disclaims Causation Expertise

Plaintiffs filed their Daubert challenge seeking exclusion of Georgia Pacific’s Certified Industrial Hygienist, Donald Marano. Plaintiff argued that Mr. Marano would offer qualitative and quantitative exposures of Plaintiff along with the risk and causation of Mr. Arbogast’s mesothelioma. Georgia Pacific countered with the position that Mr. Marano has “repeatedly disclaimed any expertise on causation and has confined his opinion to explaining the risk assessments performed by various agencies and organizations and offering his risk assessment opinion based on the analysis that his profession is trained…  

Exclusion of Plaintiffs’ Causation Experts Leads to Granting of Summary Judgment

Plaintiffs filed suit against Georgia Pacific (“GP”) and Union Carbide Corporation (“UCC”) alleging Mr. Rockman’s peritoneal mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos for which both Defendants were responsible. Specifically, Mr. Rockman claimed “bystander” exposure to GP’s Ready Mix joint compound that contained UCC’s Calidria chrysotile asbestos during residential renovations in 1965, 1973 and 1976. Plaintiff stated that he was exposed during his time living in a Brooklyn apartment when a ceiling was repaired in 1965, again in 1973 during wall repair in Baltimore, MD…  

Plaintiff Failure to Establish Retailer’s Knowledge of Danger of Asbestos Leads to Summary Judgment

Plaintiffs brought this suit against multiple defendants for Mr. Glaser’s alleged asbestos related injuries. Scott Glaser alleged that he was exposed to asbestos floor tile sold by Sears and Roebuck (“Sears”) while working for various employers. His work required him to clean up “scraps or pieces of floor tile off the floor.” Defendant took the position that it was a retailer and never “mined, milled, processed, or distributed wholesale asbestos containing products.” The Court noted that under Michigan law for a products liability action, a…  

Summary Judgment Denied Upon Showing that Defendant’s Boilers Contained Asbestos Gaskets and Rope

Plaintiff Clarence Dionne filed suit against several defendants including Cleaver Brooks alleging that he was exposed to asbestos while working at the Bay Area Medical Facility. Plaintiff alleged that he “scraped off the rope gaskets and supervised this task” on the doors of Defendant’s boilers. Not only did he personally perform this work but he also supervised others in the process. After a promotion in 1975, he took on the task of ordering replacement parts through his secretary. The replacement gaskets and insulation were supplied…  

Summary Judgment Granted upon Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Replacement Parts Supplied by Valve Defendant

Plaintiff brought this action against several defendants including Fairbanks Company alleging exposure to asbestos while working with Defendant’s valves. Specifically, Plaintiff recalled working with globe, gate and ball valves for various employers and locations. Plaintiff also testified that he replaced packing in the valves and personally removed external insulation to repair the valves. Plaintiff assumed that the packing he encountered contained asbestos based on the high heat application of the equipment. Fairbanks argued that no evidence pointed to it having made asbestos packing Plaintiff encountered.…  

Timely Removed Take-Home Exposure Case Remanded for Failure to Establish Colorable Federal Defense

The plaintiffs filed suit against several defendants including Avondale alleging that their decedent, Ms. Blouin, contracted mesothelioma after washing the laundry of her husband’s work clothes. Victor Blouin worked as an electrician for Avondale onboard two government vessels from April 1972 until August 1972. The plaintiffs’ claims were brought in negligence and not for strict liability. Avondale removed the case to federal court on March 28, 2017, 26 days after receiving a copy of the deposition transcript. The plaintiffs’ moved to remand. The plaintiffs took…  

Lung Cancer Case Transferred After Defendants Successfully Argue Forum Non Conveniens on Appeal

Plaintiffs Irvin and Marlene Rohl brought this action against several defendants including Caterpillar and Navistar. The plaintiffs argued that Mr. Rohl’s lung cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos from brakes, gaskets, clutches, engines, and heavy duty equipment made by Caterpillar and Navistar. At the trial level,  the defendants moved to transfer the case from Cook County to Winnebago County on the doctrine of forum non conveniens. The court denied the motion after a finding that the plaintiff had attended trade school in Cook County…  

Summary Judgment Reversed in Finding Co-Worker Testimony Personal Knowledge, Not Hearsay

Plaintiff Ruth Williams filed suit against multiple defendants, including Akron Gasket, as a result of her late husband’s development of mesothelioma. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that Mr. Williams was exposed to asbestos tape made by Akron while working at PPG Industries and Goodyear Tire and Rubber. Summary judgment was granted in favor of Akron. The plaintiff appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in finding that co-worker testimony was hearsay and that medical causation could not be proven. The court began its analysis by reminding…  

Defendant Fails to Establish Improper Joinder in Mesothelioma Case; Remand Granted

Plaintiff Ronald Smith sued multiple defendants, including Honeywell, alleging he developed mesothelioma from occupational exposure to asbestos. Honeywell removed the case the United States District Court, arguing that the plaintiff only joined defendant Taylor-Seidenbach Inc. to defeat diversity. The plaintiff moved to remand. The case was originally set on an expedited trial date because of the mesothelioma diagnosis. Discovery was ongoing when the plaintiff produced his work history relied upon by the plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Arthur Frank. Honeywell took the position that the work history…  

Action Dismissed Against Canadian Automotive Defendant Based on Lack of Specific Jurisdiction

The plaintiffs filed suit against multiple defendants alleging Mr. Hodjera’s mesothelioma was caused by exposure to the defendants’ products from 1986-94. Volkswagen of Canada (VWGC) moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the court lacked personal jurisdiction. The court started its analysis by stating that due process requires the court to have personal jurisdiction over the defendant before it can adjudicate a claim. General jurisdiction is available when the defendant’s “contacts are so constant and pervasive as to render it essentially at home.” The court…  

Jury Verdict Returned in Favor of Boiler Defendant Despite a Finding of Product Exposure and Negligence in Mesothelioma Case

The Evans matter involved an 87 year deceased mesothelioma claimant.  All defendants resolved prior to trial with the exception of Burnham Corporation.  After a 2 ½ week trial before Judge Moulton, the jury returned a defense verdict for Burnham, finding that there was exposure to asbestos from a Burnham product, and that Burnham was negligent, but that Burnham’s negligence was not a substantial contributing factor to Mr. Evan’s mesothelioma.…