Category Archives: Case Decisions

Plaintiff Failure to Establish Retailer’s Knowledge of Danger of Asbestos Leads to Summary Judgment Superior Court of Delaware, July 12, 2017

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…

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Summary Judgment Denied Upon Showing that Defendant’s Boilers Contained Asbestos Gaskets and Rope Superior Court of Delaware, July 12, 2017

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…

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Summary Judgment Granted upon Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Replacement Parts Supplied by Valve Defendant Superior Court of Delaware, July 12, 2017

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.…

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Plaintiff Fails to Demonstrate Decedent Worked with Boiler Manufacture’s Product; Summary Judgment Granted Superior Court of Delaware, July 11, 2017

Dorothy Charbonneau filed suit in the Superior Court of Delaware against multiple defendants alleging the defendants’ use of asbestos caused her husband, Robert Charbonneau, to contract an asbestos related disease.  Mr. Charbonneau testified that he believed he was exposed to asbestos while maintaining and cleaning multiple boilers manufactured by Cleaver-Brooks throughout his employment career.  Mr. Charbonneau also testified that he removed a sectional boiler during employment with Smith Mechanical. He testified that the boiler may have been Cleaver-Brooks but stated that he believed this because…

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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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Various Rulings Issued on Motions in Limine in Trial; Plaintiffs’ Motion to Exclude Defense Experts Denied U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, July 7, 2017

The court issued various rulings on motions in limine filed by both the plaintiffs and defendant John Crane in this matter that is set for trial on July 17, 2017. The decedent died of mesothelioma. Many of the motions were unopposed. Below are summaries of the more pertinent rulings. Regarding the plaintiff’s motions, the plaintiff argued that the defendant should be barred from disclosing that some corporations were in bankruptcy. The defendants opposed the motion because under Wisconsin law, any claims plaintiffs have submitted to…

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Summary Judgment Overturned as Lab Suppliers Found to Have Burden of Causation State of New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division Third Judicial Department, July 6, 2017

Plaintiff Eileen A. O’Connor was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma allegedly caused from exposure to equipment containing asbestos while working at a research lab from approximately 1975-79. The plaintiff filed suit in February 2015 against several defendants, including suppliers of various products used at this research lab. Supplier defendants moved for summary judgment arguing, among other things, that the plaintiffs failed to identify them as the suppliers of the asbestos-containing products in question. The Supreme Court granted the defendants’ motions dismissing the complaint against them, finding…

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Possibility of Successor Liability Enough to Defeat Diversity Jurisdiction U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, June 28, 2017

The plaintiffs alleged Maynard Herman contracted mesothelioma due to occupational asbestos exposure. Defendants removed on the basis of diversity, and the plaintiffs moved to remand. The court granted the remand. The defendants argued that defendant Ametek, Inc., although a citizen of Pennsylvania, was fraudulently joined to defeat diversity. The plaintiffs argued Ametek was not fraudulently joined because it was the successor for Mr. Herman’s exposure to asbestos products made by Haveg Industries. The plaintiffs acknowledged that when Ametek purchased Haveg, the agreement facially concerned only…

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Registered Agents Found Not to be Enough to Establish Personal Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, June 27, 2017

Plaintiff Willie Everett, resident of Missouri, brought suit in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, claiming personal injuries after he allegedly inhaled, ingested, or otherwise absorbed asbestos fibers and/or asbestiform fibers emanating from certain products he was working with and around which were manufactured, sold, distributed, or installed by the defendants. The defendants removed the case to federal court on January 19, 2017. The respective Petition contends the defendants maintained registered agents in the state of Missouri and engaged in business in…

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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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