Category Archives: California

In Talc Case, Gaps in Chain of Custody Lead to Partial Exclusion of Opinions of Plaintiff’s Geologist California Court of Appeal, August 25, 2017

Plaintiff Delgadina Alfaro alleged the development of mesothelioma due to asbestos contained in talcum powder she used as a child. The jury found for defendants Colgate-Palmolive Company, the manufacturer of Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder, and Imerys Talc America, Inc., the successor-in-interest to talc suppliers for Colgate, including Cyprus. The plaintiff appealed, and the court affirmed. The plaintiff claimed that her mother and grandmother used Cashmere Bouquet and that she used it as well. Her years of exposure were 1977-90. Colgate made Cashmere Bouquet from 1871-1985,…

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Insulation Used On Nuclear Prototype “Ordinary Consumer Product” and Not Subject to Military Contractor Defense U.S. District Court, Central District of California, August 21, 2017

Plaintiffs Wayne and Tina Yocum filed a renewed motion to remand which defendant CBS Corporation (Westinghouse) opposed. Wayne Yocum was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died on February 5, 2017. Without oral argument, the court granted the plaintiffs’ renewed motion to remand. Wayne Yocum served in the Navy from 1965-75. Westinghouse supplied the asbestos-containing insulation that was used in his presence during his naval training on the A1W, a working prototype of a nuclear propulsion system. The plaintiffs originally filed this action in California, and only…

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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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Wrongful Death Claims Barred by Res Judicata from Prior Loss of Consortium Case California Court of Appeal, July 11, 2017

In this wrongful death case, plaintiff Janet Stewart appealed the grant of summary judgment to Union Carbide that her loss of consortium claim was barred by res judicata. The plaintiff also argued a miscarriage of justice in the setoff of her deceased husband’s settlement with two asbestos bankruptcy trusts against her entire economic damage award. The court affirmed both rulings. Larry Stewart worked as a plumber from 1968-2007 when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He and his wife filed a personal injury lawsuit (Stewart I).…

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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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