Category Archives: Case Decisions

Plaintiff’s Mesothelioma Claims Barred by Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act

In a consolidated matter, three of the plaintiffs, Diane Jacobs, Katrina Masephol, and Janice Seehar (the Weyerhaeuser plaintiffs), filed claims against various defendants after developing mesothelioma.  Each had worked for Weyerhaeuser for years in close contact with asbestos.  As such, in order to get around Wisconsin’s Workers Compensation Act, Wis. Stat. § 102.03(2), which provides the “exclusive remedy against the employer” for work-related injuries, the plaintiffs argued that their asbestos-related injuries were not caused on the job, but at home and in the community, and…

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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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Possibility of Exposure Not Enough to Overcome Summary Judgment Motions of Brake Manufacturers and Supplier Court of Appeals of Kentucky, June 2, 2017

Decedent Bobby Vickery died of mesothelioma and his estate was substituted as a party to this action.  The plaintiff estate appealed the granting of summary judgment to defendants Eaton Corporation, ArvinMeritor, Pneumo-Abex, and Brake Supply Company.  The appellate court affirmed, with one judge dissenting. The plaintiff alleged Mr. Vickery was exposed to asbestos from a variety of different sources.  He had fifty employers between 1966 and 2003, and alleged asbestos exposure during three of those jobs.  For purposes of this appeal, the court summarized his…

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Summary Judgment Reversed in Finding Co-Worker Testimony Personal Knowledge, Not Hearsay Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit County, May 31, 2017

Plaintiff Ruth Williams filed suit against multiple defendants, including Akron Gasket, as a result of her late husband’s development of mesothelioma. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that Mr. Williams was exposed to asbestos tape made by Akron while working at PPG Industries and Goodyear Tire and Rubber. Summary judgment was granted in favor of Akron. The plaintiff appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in finding that co-worker testimony was hearsay and that medical causation could not be proven. The court began its analysis by reminding…

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Abandonment of Claims Alleging Asbestos Exposure at Government Facilities Eliminated Federal Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, May 31, 2017

Defendant Crane Co. appealed the remand ordered by the district court to New York State Court. Crane had removed based upon the federal officer removal statute. The appellate court affirmed the remand without a summary of the underlying facts. First, Crane argued remand was erroneous because the federal courts had original subject matter jurisdiction. The district court had concluded that the plaintiffs had abandoned any claims arising from asbestos exposure occurring at a government facility; thus, the basis on which this action was originally removed…

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Maryland Court Affirms Application of Statute of Repose in Asbestos Matter Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, May 31, 2017

On December 13, 2013, plaintiff James F. Piper was diagnosed with mesothelioma and filed suit in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on March 26, 2014 for damages caused by his occupational asbestos exposure. Piper worked as a steamfitter at the Morgantown Generating Station in Woodzell, Maryland. In early 1970, defendant Westinghouse installed a turbine generator at this site to which the specifications called for the use of insulation containing asbestos. Piper testified that while he did not work directly on the installation of the…

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Automotive Parts Manufacturer Granted Dismissal due to Lack of Personal Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, May 23, 2017

In another decision out of the Hodjera suit in the Western District of Washington, the motions to dismiss of Dana Companies, LLC and Dana Canada Corporation (the defendants), were granted based on lack of personal jurisdiction. Dana Companies is a Virginia corporation with its principal place of business in Ohio. Dana Canada is a Canadian corporation with its principal place of business in Ontario. The plaintiff alleged that he was exposed to asbestos in Toronto, Ontario, between 1986 and 1994. Neither company is registered to…

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Louisiana Court of Appeal Finds $500K Jury Verdict Not Enough Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, May 24, 2017

Plaintiffs Frank Romano, Sr. and Lynne Rome Romano filed suit in the Civil District Court, Orleans Parish against a number of defendants on September 12, 2014, after Romano contracted mesothelioma allegedly caused from occupational asbestos exposure. For a brief background, Romano grew up in Marrero, Louisiana and lived about two blocks away from the Johns-Manville Corporation’s plant for 20 years before he went away for college. As a result of this Johns-Manville connection, two defendants filed a third party demand against CRMC, a successor in…

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Defendant Fails to Establish Improper Joinder in Mesothelioma Case; Remand Granted U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, May 22, 2017

Plaintiff Ronald Smith sued multiple defendants, including Honeywell, alleging he developed mesothelioma from occupational exposure to asbestos. Honeywell removed the case the United States District Court, arguing that the plaintiff only joined defendant Taylor-Seidenbach Inc. to defeat diversity. The plaintiff moved to remand. The case was originally set on an expedited trial date because of the mesothelioma diagnosis. Discovery was ongoing when the plaintiff produced his work history relied upon by the plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Arthur Frank. Honeywell took the position that the work history…

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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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