Author Archives: Timothy C. Connor

Mill Defendant’s Summary Judgment Motions Granted in Community Exposure/Take-Home Case United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin, June 8, 2018

WISCONSIN –Weyerhauser operated a manufacturing facility in Marshfield, Wisconsin from 1960 to 2000. Among other wood products manufactured at the mill, Weyerhauser produced asbestos-core doors in Marshfield from 1971 to 1978. The plaintiffs’ decedents Elvira Kilty and Herbert Spatz each worked at the Marshfield Weyerhauser mill. Due to the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation bar, they alleged that their mesothelioma was caused by community exposures and/or household exposures emanating from the clothing of their children and father, respectively, all of whom also worked for Weyerhauser. Weyerhauser moved…

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Talc Defendant Strikes Plaintiff’s Expert and Avoids Spoliation Sanctions United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina, June 8, 2018

NORTH CAROLINA — The plaintiff Ann Finch’s decedent Franklin Finch worked at a Firestone tire factory in Wilson, North Carolina from 1975-1995 and alleged that he was exposed to asbestos during his time there, causing his mesothelioma. Among other allegations of exposure, the plaintiff alleged that the decedent was exposed to talc-contaminated asbestos at Firestone, allegedly supplied by defendant Pfizer and others. In support of this allegation, the plaintiff offered an expert report from Sean Fitzgerald, who tested an identification badge worn by Decedent, and…

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Valve Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment as Court Finds No Evidence of Conspiracy U.S. District Court, District of Delaware, June 6, 2018

DELAWARE — Plaintiff Marguerite MacQueen filed claims in the Superior Court of Delaware against defendant Crane Co., among others, for manufacturing products that exposed her late husband David MacQueen to asbestos during his time aboard the USS Randolph and USS Independence in the United States Navy from 1956 to 1960, and during his time as a salesman for the Union Carbide Corporation from 1963 to 1980.  Crane subsequently removed the matter to federal court on federal officer jurisdiction. Crane moved for summary judgment on the…

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Brake Lining Manufacturer’s Summary Judgment Affirmed in Part in Second Filing in Different Counties Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit County, June 6, 2018

OHIO — Plaintiff Margie Taylor, the executor of the estate of her father Russell Young, originally filed claims against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, alleging that Young was exposed to asbestos from work on aircraft brake linings during his employment with Goodyear Aerospace Corporation. Goodyear filed a motion for summary judgment on premises liability, negligent undertaking, and intentional tort claims, which was granted by the court in an entry on the electronic “File & Serve” docket, and…

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Allegations of “Information and Belief” Interrogatory Answers Insufficient to Overcome Summary Judgment Supreme Court of the State of New York, Fifth Judicial District, May 23, 2018

NEW YORK — The decedent Julia Sgarlata’s estate brought suit against various companies alleging that she was exposed to asbestos while employed as an inspector, and as a shipping and receiving manager at Diemolding Corporation in New York State from 1955 to 1990, causing her peritoneal mesothelioma. The court issued a written decision on its April 19, 2018 grant of summary judgment for defendant Cytec Engineering, f/k/a American Cyanamid as successor to Fiberite (Fiberite), finding no evidence that the decedent was ever in the presence…

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Court Grants Summary Judgment to Some Pump Manufacturers, While Denying it to Others in Maritime Action United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, May 22, 2018

PENNSYLVANIA — The court issued rulings on summary judgment motions from the five remaining defendants in this lung cancer case, where the plaintiff Robert Hedrick alleged exposure to asbestos while serving in the United States Navy from 1953-1957.  the plaintiff claimed that his lung cancer was caused by alleged work with asbestos products in the boiler rooms and engine rooms of four naval vessels.  Of the five product manufacturer defendants, the plaintiff only identified one by name at deposition.  Instead, he relied on the combination…

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$21.7 Million Compensatory Verdict and $4 Million Punitive Awards in California Asbestos-Talc Case Los Angeles, California

CALIFORNIA — Sixty-eight year old Plaintiff Joanne Anderson sued Johnson & Johnson (J & J) and other defendants in state court in Los Angeles in 2017, alleging that her mesothelioma was caused in part by use of talcum powder that was contaminated with asbestos.  On Wednesday, May 23, 2018, a California jury returned a $21.7 million compensatory verdict for the plaintiff, assigning 67 percent to J & J.  The jury is still deliberating on whether to award punitive damages. Today, the jury awarded $4 million…

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Court Hears Motions to Overturn Verdict in $117 Million New Jersey Talc Case Middlesex County, New Jersey

NEW JERSEY — In April of this year, a New Jersey jury awarded $37 million in compensatory damages and $80 million in punitive damages to plaintiff Stephen Lanzo, who alleged that he developed mesothelioma from years of use of defendants’ talcum powder, which the plaintiff claimed was contaminated with asbestos. On Wednesday, May 23, 2018, the court heard arguments on Imerys Talc America, Inc.’s motions to overturn the verdict. In asking the court to overturn the verdict, Imerys argued the plaintiff had presented no competent…

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Talc Case Remanded as Defendant Fails to Establish Improper Joinder United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana, May 17, 2018

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff, Marilyn Rousseau, sued defendants Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and K&B Louisiana Corporation (d/b/a Rite Aid Corporation), among others, claiming that her mesothelioma was caused in part by her use of their allegedly asbestos-contaminated talc products.  Plaintiff, who was a Louisiana citizen, originally brought the suit in state court in Orleans Parish.  J&J removed the case to federal court, claiming diversity jurisdiction and contending that K&B Louisiana, the only non-diverse defendant entity, was improperly joined. Noting that the improper joinder doctrine constituted…

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Summary Judgment Reversed on Application of “All Sums” Approach United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern District

MISSOURI—This suit involves multiple insurance policies covering the same dates of exposure.  The spouse of an Anheuser-Busch (AB) employee developed mesothelioma from asbestos exposure acquired while laundering the clothes of her husband, who worked for AB from 1971-1996.  Suit was filed in 2008, and AB tendered its defense to Zurich American Insurance Company (Zurich), which had issued personal injury and excess coverage policies to AB for two periods covering 1967-72 and 1972-1980.  Zurich defended under a reservation of rights, paid all defense costs, and settled…

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