Category Archives: California

California Government Claims Act Bars Plaintiffs’ Asbestos Action for Untimely Commencement California Court of Appeals, June 26, 2017

Plaintiffs Sandra Reyes Jauregui and Mario Reyes Jauregui filed a first amended complaint against the City of Pasadena arising from Sandra Jauregui’s mesothelioma. The City demurred to the complaint, arguing that the plaintiffs failed to comply with the Government Claims Act, requiring presentation of the claim to the City within six months of the date of Sandra’s mesothelioma diagnosis. The court agreed and issued a writ sustaining the demurrer. The plaintiffs originally filed a complaint against various defendants due to her father’s asbestos exposure while…

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Denial of Remand Based on Government Directed Actions of Airplane Manufacturing Process United States District Court for the Northern District of California, June 20, 2017

The plaintiff filed a motion to remand for lack of subject matter jurisdiction in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California. The plaintiff, Joseph Thrash, alleged he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in September 2016, and was exposed to asbestos while he worked on B-52, C-141, and C-5 airplanes in the United States Air Force from 1975 through the 1980s and while doing automotive work at various locations. The defendant, The Boeing Company, removed the case to federal court; shortly thereafter, defendants…

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Insulation Supplier Contracting with U.S. Navy Protected by Government Contractor Defense Court of Appeals of California, First Appellate District, June 6, 2017

Jay Wanlass filed suit against Metalclad Insulation Corp. (Metalclad) based on alleged exposure to friable asbestos. Metalclad moved for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. The plaintiff appealed that decision to the First District Court of Appeal for Division 2 in California. In 1968, Metalclad entered into an agreement with the United States Navy to supply insulation for piping on four nuclear-powered submarines. Those submarines were all constructed at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California. The plaintiff alleged he was exposed to asbestos…

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Plaintiff’s Assertion of the Mere Possibility of Exposure Insufficient to Create a Triable Issue of Fact for Summary Judgment Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, Division One, March 30, 2017

The plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants, including Moore Drydock, alleging he developed mesothelioma as a result of his work onboard the USS Carter Hall. The plaintiff further alleged that defendant Moore Drydock built the USS Carter Hall. Specific sources of exposures alleged by the plaintiff included gaskets, packing, and pipe insulation. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that no issue of fact existed. The plaintiff opposed and took the position that the declaration of its insulation expert, Charles Ay, offered the fact that…

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Plaintiffs’ Motion for Remand Granted After Defendant Removes on Federal Officer; Sanctions Denied U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, March 31, 2017

The plaintiffs filed this action against multiple defendants including Foster Wheeler for Mr. Hukkanen’s alleged development of mesothelioma after serving as a machinist onboard the USS Somers and USS Walke from 1960 through 1968. Foster Wheeler removed the case, arguing that it was acting under an officer or agency of the United States. Foster Wheeler quickly moved for remand claiming that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the plaintiffs specifically waived claims sounded in military contractors immunity defense. Foster Wheeler took the position that…

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$3.5 Million Punitive Damages Upheld Against Brake Manufacturer on Appeal Court of Appeal of California, Fifth Appellate District, March 17, 2017

James Phillips was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March of 2012 and died in February of 2013. In May of 2012, Phillips and his wife, Charity Phillips, filed a complaint seeking damages for personal injuries caused by asbestos in the Superior Court of Fresno County, California. In May 2013, after Phillips’s death, Charity, individually and as the personal representative of his estate, filed a first amended complaint alleging negligence and strict liability. The first amended complaint named more than 25 defendants engaged in the manufacture or…

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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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California Appellate Court Reverses $3.6M Punitive Damages Award Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division One, February 15, 2017

In November 2005, after William Saller was diagnosed with mesothelioma, the plaintiffs filed suit naming 22 defendants, including the manufacturers of various asbestos products. After Saller passed away in February 2006, his wife and daughters added a wrongful death claim and continued the lawsuit. In 2007, the plaintiffs proceeded to trial against two remaining defendants: Crown Cork and Bondex International, Inc. The jury returned a defense verdict, rejecting the plaintiffs’ strict liability design defect claim and their negligent failure-to-warn claim. The plaintiffs appealed and the…

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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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Defense Judgment Affirmed Under Consumer Expectation Test Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, December 21, 2016

David Baeza and Vana Baeza filed suit against defendants including Special Electric Company, a distributor of raw crocidolite asbestos fibers called ML-6 following his diagnosis with mesothelioma. Special Electric had supplied ML-6 raw asbestos fibers to Johns-Manville beginning in the mid-1970s. David Baeza’s father had worked at a Johns-Manville plant in Long Beach, California, and David was exposed as a child to asbestos dust that clung to his father’s shoes, clothes, hair, and skin. At the time of trial, the only causes of action that…

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