Category Archives: Case Decisions

Action Dismissed Against Canadian Automotive Defendant Based on Lack of Specific Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, May 17, 2017

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…

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Summary Judgments Based on Wisconsin Safe Place Statute and Statute of Repose Denied U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, May 15, 2017

The court issued another decision in a case originally reported in Asbestos Case Tracker on May 15, 2017. Plaintiffs Daniel and Beverly Ahnert originally filed a case in 2010 alleging Daniel Ahnert developed asbestosis; that case was transferred to the MDL of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In 2013 Beverly Ahnert filed a new case in the Eastern District of Wisconsin after Daniel Ahnert died of asbestos-related diseases. In September 2014, the 2011 case was remanded back to Wisconsin. The plaintiff then moved to consolidate…

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Sufficient Exposure Found to Reverse Prior Summary Judgment Decision in Favor of Asbestos Supplier Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, May 17, 2017

In October 2010, the plaintiff, Thomasina Fowler, individually and as administrator of the estate of Willis Edenfield (the decedent), brought a wrongful death and product liability action in the Superior Court of New Jersey against various defendants. The plaintiff alleged the decedent passed away from mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure associated with defendants’ products. The complaint was filed after the decedent’s death and he was never deposed. Therefore, during discovery, the plaintiff produced two witnesses to testify as to the decedent’s occupational history. The decedent…

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Multi-Million Dollar Jury Verdict Against Ford Vacated Based on Defective Jury Verdict Form Court of Appeals of Tennessee, May 12, 2017

In this secondary exposure case alleging mesothelioma, defendant Ford Motor Company appealed after the jury rendered a verdict against it for $3.4 million. The appellate court vacated the trial court’s judgment on the jury verdict and remanded the case because the jury verdict form was defective, in that it omitted two necessary questions in product liability cases — that the product at issue was unreasonably dangerous or defective and that the plaintiff’s injuries were reasonably foreseeable. Plaintiff Ronnie Stockton was an automobile mechanic since 1971.…

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Deere Granted Summary Judgment Based on Speculation Tractor Contained Asbestos Parts it Manufactured Superior Court of Delaware, May 10, 2017

The Superior Court of Delaware issued another ruling in a case reported in Asbestos Case Tracker on May 15, 2017. In this ruling, the court granted defendant Deere & Company’s motion for summary judgment. The decedent died from lung cancer. Counsel stipulated that his asbestos exposure occurred from 1955-79. Prior to his death, the decedent gave a deposition stating that he worked on “older” John Deere tractors from 1953-79. This work included grinding head gaskets once per year or every other year. Replacement parts came…

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No New Facts Alleged in Plaintiff’s Motion for Reargument; Reargument Denied Superior Court of Delaware, May 11, 2017

On February 2, 2017 the Superior Court of Delaware granted defendant Georgia Southern University Advanced Development Center’s (Herty) motion for summary judgment. The plaintiffs since filed a motion for reargument and reconsideration of that order. Dorothy Ramsey alleged that Herty, a manufacturer of an asbestos paper product, negligently failed to warn her of the risks of take-home asbestos exposure due to her husband’s workplace exposure from 1976-80. The plaintiff alleged that Herty’s failure to warn of the danger was a proximate cause of the decedent’s…

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Ford Granted Summary Judgement in Two Automotive/Tractor Cases in Delaware Superior Court of Delaware, May 10, 2017

Ford was granted summary judgment in two matters pending in the Superior Court of Delaware. First, plaintiff Paul Norris brought suit against Ford Motor Company alleging that he developed an asbestos related disease as a result of his occupational and non-occupational exposure to asbestos while performing work on Ford brakes, clutches, and gaskets. The plaintiff started working on his father’s farm in 1960, which included work on a Ford tractor. The plaintiff testified that the new brakes and clutches used for his tractor work were…

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Decedent’s Work Falls Outside Wisconsin’s Statute of Repose; Summary Judgment Denied U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, May 11, 2017

This matter stems from a series of filings. In 2010, plaintiffs Daniel and Beverly Ahnert filed an asbestosis claim on February 25, 2010. That case was transferred to Multidistrict Litigation in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Two and a half years later, Beverly Ahnert, as the executrix of the estate of Danial Ahnert, filed a new complaint in the Easter District of Wisconsin alleging that Daniel Ahnert passed away as a result of an asbestos related disease. This matter deals with defendant Sprinkmann Sons, Inc.…

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Compound Manufacturer’s Directed Verdict Reversed Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Second Division, May 9, 2017

The estate of decedent Ronnie Startley filed a complaint against multiple defendants, including Welco Manufacturing Company, alleging that the defendants’ products caused the decedent to contract mesothelioma. All defendants except Welco either were dismissed or settled with plaintiffs prior to trial. Welco proceeded to trial. After trial, the trial court directed a verdict in favor of Welco, holding that there was not sufficient evidence to create an issue of material fact as to whether the use of Welco’s products caused the decedent to develop mesothelioma.…

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Prior Maryland Rulings Relied Upon in Denying Remand U.S. District Court of Maryland, May 5, 2017

The plaintiffs moved to remand after defendant Crane Co. removed to federal court. The court denied the plaintiff’s motion without oral argument. Decedent John Dugger served in the United States Navy during the 1960s and died of mesothelioma; the plaintiffs filed suit after his death. The plaintiffs alleged Crane manufactured and sold rope and valves to the Navy. Crane removed on the basis of the government contractor defense, and in support submitted affidavits from three individuals. Defendants may remove to federal court if it establishes…

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