Category Archives: Case Decisions

NYCAL Court Denies Motion in Limine to Preclude Plaintiff’s Causation Experts Supreme Court of New York, New York County, April 14. 2017

The court issued further rulings in a case previously reported in Asbestos Case Tracker on April 12, 2017. This case involved plaintiff Frederick Evans’ alleged exposure to asbestos-containing dust from his work as an HVAC mechanic from 1955-59. Although the defendants submitted a joint omnibus motion in limine, the only defendant remaining at trial was Burnham LLC. Here, the motion in limine to exclude the causation opinions of the plaintiffs’ experts Dr. Carl Brodkin and Dr. John Maddox was denied. Burnham argued the plaintiffs’ causation…

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Upon Reconsideration, Finding of Jurisdiction Reversed Due to Missouri Supreme Court Ruling in State ex rel. Norfolk S. Ry. Co. v. Dolan U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, April 21, 2017

The plaintiffs were the special representative of the decedent, Berj Hovsepian, a civilian employee of the Navy from 1958-64 who died of mesothelioma. Originally filed in the City of St. Louis, Missouri, it was removed to federal court where defendant CBS Corporation filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. After the motion was denied, CBS moved to reconsider due to a change in controlling law. The court reconsidered and reversed its ruling, holding no personal jurisdiction existed over CBS. Motions to reconsider…

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Automotive Manufacturer Had No Duty to Warn Regarding Third Party Replacement Parts Supreme Court of Delaware, April 21, 2017

The plaintiffs alleged Ford Motor Company was negligent in failing to warn decedent of the dangers posed by servicing asbestos brake parts in Ford vehicles. The decedent was a mechanic who died of mesothelioma. Ford moved for summary judgment, arguing that Ford had no duty to warn about asbestos replacement brake parts made by third parties, and the plaintiffs failed to produce evidence that decedent was exposed to Ford asbestos brake parts. The trial court ruled that Ford had no duty to warn about third…

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Boiler Manufacturer Granted New Trial Due to Plaintiff’s Counsel’s Comments in Closing Arguments Court of Appeals of Iowa, April 19, 2017

Defendant Weil McLain appealed the jury’s award of damages and punitive damages to plaintiffs to the Iowa Court of Appeals. The appeal stems from the death of Larry Kinseth as a result of his alleged exposure to asbestos containing products. Mr. Kinseth worked in the heating and plumbing industry beginning in 1957. As part of his work, he tore out old boilers and installed new boilers, both in residential and commercial applications. At the time, Mr. Kinseth was working in the heating and plumbing industry,…

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Bare Metal Defense Rebuts Plaintiffs’ Causation Argument for Majority of Industrial Equipment Manufactures U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, April 12, 2017

Patricia Carroll, as special administrator of Ronald Carroll’s estate, sued numerous manufacturers of industrial equipment in which asbestos replacement parts were used, manufacturers of asbestos, or both in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. The claims against the defendants arise from the time Mr. Carroll spent working at Wisconsin Power & Light (WP&L) from 1959 to 1974. Mr. Carroll worked in a variety of different jobs WP&L’s plants during that period of time, including plant helper, auxiliary equipment operator, and boiler operator.…

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Defendants’ Motion in Limine Denied on Multiple Issues; Including Regulatory Materials, Past Conduct, MAS Studies and Expert Testimony Based on Animal Studies Supreme Court of New York, New York County, April 5, 2017

The plaintiff filed this action against several defendants alleging his asbestos related disease was caused by products for which the defendants were liable. Mr. Evans worked as a cable puller for Western Electric from 1946-48, as a grounds man and lineman for Queens Gas and Electric from 1948-52, as an HVAC worker for multiple employers from 1952-63 and again in a mechanic and supervisory role from 1965-68 at residential and commercial sites. He also claimed potential bystander exposure from residential jobs including roofing, flooring, ceiling,…

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Roofing Cement Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment Based on Insufficient Evidence of Exposure Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle, April 4, 2017

Plaintiffs Henry Stowers and his wife Laura Stowers filed suit in the Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle County, alleging that Henry Stowers was exposed to asbestos from various defendants’ products which caused his lung cancer. Stowers, as the plaintiffs’ sole product identification witness, testified that between 1985-87, Stowers was a self-employed roofer. His work included building cabinets and removing/placing old shingles on roofs with new ones. Stowers stated that the new shingles were made by Owens-Corning and Heritage but he was aware of the…

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Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment on Failure to Warn Claims U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, April 4, 2017

Plaintiff Gail Hart, executor of the estate of the decedent Alva Coykendall (the plaintiff), filed suit alleging that her husband worked with a substantial amount of asbestos-containing brake and clutch friction materials manufactured by various defendants. Prior to his death, Coykendall was deposed and testified that he did work as an uncertified mechanic from approximately 1972 through 2014. Coykendall further specified he performed work on brakes and clutches which included exposure to brake dust when working on vehicles that did not require a full brake…

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Required Use of Asbestos Products for Proper Functioning of Steam Turbines Created Genuine Issue of Material Fact Regarding Duty to Warn Court of Appeals of Washington, April 3, 2017

The decedent served in the Navy from 1943-46 and served as a machinist on the USS George K. MacKenzie during World War II. After the war, he joined the Military Sea Transportation Service and worked as an engineer until 1952. His representatives filed a wrongful death lawsuit after he died from mesothelioma, suing, among others, General Electric. The trial court granted GE’s motion for summary judgment, and the appellate court reversed. GE designed, manufactured, and supplied the steam turbines that were on board the decedent’s…

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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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