Category Archives: Case Decisions

Pump Manufacturers Had a Duty to Warn Even Though Decedent Never Exposed to Original Pump Gaskets and Packing Maryland Court of Appeals, December 18, 2015

The plaintiff, a widow, brought claims against pump manufacturers Air & Liquid Systems, Warren Pumps, and IMO Industries (defendants) for asbestos exposure sustained by her deceased husband while serving in the Navy for 20 years, from 1956 until 1976. The decedent died of mesothelioma. The defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that they had no duty to warn of asbestos-containing replacement parts that they neither made nor placed in the stream of commerce. The circuit court granted this motion, the Court of Special Appeals affirmed,…

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Post-Trial Motion for Additur Granted, Increasing Mesothelioma Pain and Suffering Damages Supreme Court of New York, December 18, 2015

The plaintiff’s decedent, Richard Voelker, was diagnosed with and died from mesothelioma. A personal injury action was pursued and resulted in a verdict awarding the Estate various damages, including a pain and suffering award of $250,000. The plaintiff filed a post-trial motion for additur arguing that the jury’s award for pain and suffering was inadequate compensation for Mr. Voelker’s “extraordinarily horrific” suffering. The court granted the motion, increasing the pain and suffering award to $600,000. The court cited to the plaintiff’s video trial testimony and…

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California Court Relies on Absence of Evidence in Plaintiff’s Discovery Responses to Affirm Summary Judgment for Defendant Fluor California Court of Appeal, December 15, 2015

A husband and wife sued numerous defendants after the husband was diagnosed with asbestosis in 2011. Defendant Fluor moved for summary judgment, which the court granted, on the basis that the plaintiffs failed to establish a triable issue of fact that the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos from Fluor products. The appellate court affirmed. The plaintiffs alleged the husband was exposed to a variety of asbestos-containing products during his work with Southern California Gas Company from the 1950s-90s. In response to discovery from Fluor, the…

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Railroad Company Obtains Summary Judgment on Appeal Based on Inadmissible Expert Report Supreme Court of Mississippi, December 10, 2015

The plaintiff in this case brought a wrongful death action against the Illinois Central Railroad Company pursuant to the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) for the death of her husband, Charles Jackson, Jr., who had worked on the railroad. Illinois Central’s motions for summary judgment, to strike the plaintiff’s expert, Michael J. Ellenbecker, were denied. Illinois Central’s petition for an interlocutory appeal was granted. In its review, the court found that Ellenbecker’s opinions submitted in opposition of the motion for summary judgment was inadmissible since…

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Plaintiff’s Failure to Accurately Identify Brand Name of Insulation Product During Deposition Results in Summary Judgment for Manufacturer U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, December 3, 2015

The plaintiff alleges he contracted mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos-containing products while working as a cleaner at New York Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Camden, New Jersey, and as a rigger at Sun Ship Yard in Chester, Pennsylvania. The plaintiff testified that he was exposed to asbestos-containing insulation and the only insulation manufacturers identified by the plaintiff were Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corporation and Johns-Manville. During his deposition, the plaintiff was shown the Owens-Illinois “Kaylo” insulation label and testified that he did not…

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Applying Maritime Law, Plaintiff Unable to Provide Sufficient Evidence Linking Decedent to Any John Crane Product U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, November 24, 2015

In this federal court case it was alleged that the decedent, Richard Bell, was exposed to asbestos while serving on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1960-64.  Defendant John Crane Inc. moved for summary judgment, arguing that maritime law applies and the plaintiff’s evidence fails to prove that decedent was exposed to any of its asbestos-containing products or that the products were a substantial factor in decedent’s lung cancer. The plaintiff did not oppose the application of maritime law.  The court spelled out that for…

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Federal Court Grants Remand to Madison County Based on Plaintiff’s Waiver of Any Claims Related to His Military Service U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, November 23, 2015

In this case, the plaintiff originally filed the action in the Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois alleging exposure to asbestos as an aircraft mechanic, helicopter mechanic, and laborer at various locations throughout the United States between 1958 and 2006. The plaintiff’s work on helicopters was while he served in the U.S. Army.  Defendant Boeing removed the case to federal court based on the federal officer removal statute. The plaintiff moved for a remand based on his previously filed waiver of all claims related to…

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Ohio Appellate Court Affirms Jury’s Verdict Entitling Widow to Worker’s Compensation Benefits After Husband Died of Lung Cancer Allegedly Due to Asbestos Exposure at General Motors Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third Appellate District, November 20, 2015

The plaintiff commenced this case after the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation denied her request for widow’s benefits of her late husband, who died from lung cancer allegedly due to asbestos exposure while working at General Motors. General Motors argued that the decedent’s long-time smoking habit of one to two packs of cigarettes per day  was the sole cause of his lung cancer. The jury found that the plaintiff was entitled to participate in the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Fund because: (1) the decedent was exposed…

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New York Court Addresses Jurisdiction, Product Identification, and Duty to Warn Issues in Denying Valve Manufacturer’s Summary Judgment Supreme Court of New York, November 23, 2015

The plaintiff developed mesothelioma and asserted asbestos exposure to valves from Fisher Controls International LLC through his work in various states, including New York.  Fisher moved for summary judgment and dismissal of various counts if its summary judgment was denied. The court denied the summary judgment, but granted dismissal of certain counts because these were unopposed. First, Fisher argued that the New York court lacked both general and specific jurisdiction, because it only learned of the plaintiff’s nine-month occupational history in New York when plaintiff…

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Decedent’s Failure to Bring Personal Injury Claims for Known Asbestos Injuries Within Statute of Limitations Period During His Lifetime Barred Wrongful Death Suit Washington Court of Appeals, Division One, November 23, 2015

The decedent died of several asbestos related diseases in 2011; he was diagnosed with these diseases in 2003. The plaintiff brought a wrongful death claim against manufacturers and distributors of asbestos containing products, and the defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff could not bring a wrongful death claim because the decedent failed to bring a personal injury claim within three years of discovering his asbestos-related diseases. The trial court granted summary judgment, and the appellate court affirmed. The plaintiff argued that a…

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