Category Archives: Case Decisions

Pennsylvania Statute Authorized General Personal Jurisdiction if Foreign Corporation Registered in Pennsylvania U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, March 19, 2018

PENNSYLVANIA — The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania held that the defendants were subject to general personal jurisdiction due to the consent provision in Pennsylvania’s long-arm statute. The facts are as follows: the plaintiff, Thomas Gorton, alleged he developed mesothelioma as a result of his work at various phone companies and from changing automobile brakes. None of the alleged exposure took place in Pennsylvania. The case was filed in state court and removed to federal court. Defendants Ford Motor Company, Pacific…

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Remand Affirmed Due to Lack of Causal Nexus in Take-Home Exposure Case U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, March 16, 2018

LOUISIANA — The Legendre brothers filed suit in Louisiana State Court on behalf of their sister, Mary Jane Wilde, who died from complications related to mesothelioma. Their father, Percy Legendre, worked at a shipyard owned and operated by Huntington Ingalls, Inc. (Avondale) and was allegedly exposed to asbestos. The plaintiffs further alleged that Mary Jane was exposed to asbestos via fibers that were on her father’s work clothes and this exposure caused her to develop mesothelioma. Defendant Avondale invoked the federal officer removal statute and…

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Plaintiffs’ Experts Permitted to Testify Regarding Conspiracy Claims U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, March 14, 2018

Defendant Crane Company filed motions to strike the plaintiff’s expert reports from James A. Bruce, M.D., Barry Castleman Sc.D, and Captain Francis J. Burger as violating Federal Rules of Evidence 402 and 702 in this lung cancer case that was removed to Federal Court. The plaintiff alleged asbestos exposure through his work on two ships in the United States Navy, and through his work as a salesman. Only one count remained from the plaintiff’s Fourth Amended Complaint following Crane’s summary judgment motion, and it alleged…

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Summary Judgment Affirmed Based on Lack of Admissible Evidence of Secondary Asbestos Exposure Court of Appeal, First District, Division 2, California, March 8, 2018

CALIFORNIA —Sandra Foglia and her children filed suit against Moore Dry Dock (MDD), alleging that the decedent, Ronald Foglia, was exposed to asbestos via his late father, Felix Foglia, and developed mesothelioma. The plaintiffs alleged that Felix was exposed to asbestos while working as an electrician at a shipyard operated by MDD. MDD moved for summary judgment, claiming it owed no duty of care to the decedent for secondary exposure and that the plaintiffs could not reasonably obtain evidence to show that the decedent was…

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New Evidence Leads to Vacated Final Judgment in Favor of Fertilizer Company Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, February 26, 2018

NEW JERSEY — In an unpublished opinion issued by the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, the plaintiff successfully overturned the entry of summary judgment on the basis of discovery of new evidence. The plaintiff filed suit in 2012, alleging that his application of two bags of Scotts Turf Builder fertilizer twice a year, from 1967 to 1980, caused him to develop mesothelioma. He passed shortly after filing the lawsuit and his wife was substituted as executrix of the estate. The plaintiff alleged that Scotts…

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Cumulative-Exposure Theory Inconsistent with Test for Causation; Not a Sufficient Basis for Finding Substantial Factor Supreme Court of Ohio, January 24, 2018 (decided); February 8, 2018 (released)

OHIO — The decedent  Kathleen Schwartz’s husband, Mark Schwartz, filed suit against numerous manufacturers of asbestos-containing products, alleging that asbestos exposure caused her to develop mesothelioma, leading to her death. By the time of trial, Honeywell International, Inc., the successor-in-interest to Bendix Corporation, was the only defendant who remained. The issue at trial — and on appeal — was whether the decedent’s exposure to asbestos from Bendix brake products was a substantial factor in causing the decedent’s mesothelioma. The decedent’s father changed the brakes in…

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Case Remanded to Determine Setoff Amounts from Settlements with Asbestos Trusts Supreme Court of Mississippi, February 15, 2018

MISSISSIPPI — On February 13, 2009, Clara Hagan filed a complaint, as the representative of Bennie Oakes, against Illinois Central Railroad in the Warren County Circuit Court. The complaint, brought under the provisions of the Federal Employers Liability Act, sought to recover damages for personal injuries and/or death sustained by decedent Bennie Oakes while decedent was employed by Illinois Central and while engaging in interstate commerce. The decedent was employed by Illinois Central from 1952 through 1994 and alleged he was exposed to asbestos “on…

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Plaintiff’s “Every Exposure” and “Cumulative Exposure” Theories Unreliable; Various Plaintiff’s Experts Excluded U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, February 12, 2018

WASHINGTON — Defendant Scapa Dryer Fabrics, Inc. filed motions to exclude the plaintiff’s exposure and causation experts in this mesothelioma death matter. The Ninth Circuit remanded this matter for a new trial after finding that the District Court failed to make appropriate determinations under Daubert and Federal Rule of Evidence 702 in allowing expert testimony. The plaintiff alleged asbestos exposures during work at the Crown-Zellerbach Pulp and Paper Mill in Camas, WA. The plaintiff worked with dryer felts, among other products, in his time at…

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Failure to Establish Good Cause Leads to Affirmation of Denial of Additional Expert Disclosure U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, February 13, 2018

KANSAS — The plaintiff sued the Budd Company alleging her father, Robert Rabe, developed mesothelioma as a result of occupational exposure to asbestos for which the defendant was allegedly liable. Specifically, Rabe claimed exposure to pipe insulation used on railcars built by the defendant. A scheduling order was entered by the magistrate, which called for the disclosure of experts by June 23, 2012 amongst other deadlines. After that deadline passed, the defendant moved without objection for a modification of the expert disclosure deadline to September…

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Exclusion of Decedent’s Deposition Testimony Upheld due to Lack of Meaningful Opportunity for Cross Examination Superior Court of Delaware, February 7, 2018

DELAWARE — Plaintiff William Sykes filed suit in March of 2014 against numerous defendants after being diagnosed with mesothelioma in October, 2013. The plaintiff’s counsel requested expedited trial and discovery depositions due to Plaintiff’s rapidly deteriorating health; a video trial deposition was taken on April 16, 2014. During a break in the trial deposition, the plaintiff informed counsel that he was unable to complete the remainder of the deposition. At that time, the parties were left with only the video trial deposition and no cross…

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