Category Archives: Delaware

Plaintiff’s Status as Independent Contractor Bars Negligence Claim Superior Court of Delaware, October 26, 2017

DELAWARE — Defendant Covestro was the premises owner or successor in interest to one or more prior owners of Mobay Chemical Plant. The plaintiff worked at Mobay for six months in 1979 and was employed by Dravo Corporation, a third party contractor.  The plaintiff testified that he removed insulation from pipes and other equipment; he received instruction and equipment from Dravo supervisors. The plaintiff also worked at Mobay from 1986-88 as a contract engineer for Midwest Tech and testified that he reported to two Mobay…

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Magistrate Judge Recommends No Personal Jurisdiction Over Exelon Corporation in Delaware U.S. District Court of Delaware, September 14, 2017

DELAWARE — Plaintiffs Michael and Sally Harding filed claims in Delaware state court due to Michael Harding’s exposure to asbestos while working as a pipefitter for the United States Navy from 1963-67. Defendant Crane Co. removed to federal court. Defendant Exelon Corporation moved for dismissal due to lack of personal jurisdiction. Exelon was not a Delaware business entity and did not have a principal place of business in Delaware.  The plaintiffs did not respond to Exelon’s motion to dismiss. The magistrate judge recommended granting this…

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Various Defendants Granted Summary Judgment Under Maritime Law Bare Metal Defense U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, August 31, 2017

Plaintiffs Stephen and Marilyn Charlevoix filed this asbestos related personal injury action in Delaware Superior Court against multiple defendants on July 10, 2015. Crane removed the action to this court on August 21, 2015. The plaintiff stated that Mr. Charlevoix was first exposed to asbestos-containing products during his service as a boiler tender with the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1964 aboard the USS Valley Forge. After his service in the Navy, Mr. Charlevoix worked at Grede Foundry from 1964 to 1966 as a grinder.…

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Court Denies Partial Motion for Summary Judgment on Punitive Damages Against John Crane While Granting Full Summary Judgment for Other Defendants U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, August 30, 2017

Icom Henry Evans and Johanna Elaine Evans filed an asbestos related personal injury action in the Delaware Superior Court against multiple defendants on June 11, 2015, asserting injuries arising from Mr. Evans’ alleged harmful exposure to asbestos. Defendant John Crane filed a partial motion for summary judgment as to the plaintiffs’ punitive damages claim. John Crane admits to having knowledge of the hazards of asbestos by 1970. However, the parties dispute whether John Crane had knowledge of the hazards of asbestos before 1970. The parties…

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Summary Judgment Granted to Premises Owner Because Asbestos Not Inherent on the Premise Superior Court of Delaware, August 30, 2017

Plaintiff Sandra Kivell alleged her husband developed and died from mesothelioma due to his asbestos exposure as a union pipefitter and welder.  Defendant Union Carbide moved for summary judgment, which was granted. Union Carbide was a premises owner of a petrochemical facility in Taft, Louisiana, where decedent worked from January 1967-October 1969.  Decedent did not work for and did not receive instruction from Union Carbide, which employed third-party contractors to build process units.  Decedent testified he ran pipe and worked side by side with insulators.  …

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Brake Manufacturer’s Motion for Summary Judgment Granted Based on Statute of Limitations Superior Court of Delaware, August 29, 2017

The plaintiff brought suit in Delaware contending that David Bagwell contracted lung cancer from Pneumo Abex’s products. Bagwell was diagnosed in May 2009 and passed away from cancer on January 28, 2010. Plaintiff contacted an attorney regarding this matter in August or 2012. This matter was ultimately filed on June 2, 2014. Under South Carolina law, the defendant argues that the plaintiff’s case must be dismissed because wrongful death claims must be filed within three years of the date of the decedent’s death. However, Delaware…

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Car Manufacturer Obtains Dismissal Based on Lack of Personal Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, August 22, 2017

Plaintiffs Harold and Judy Haynes filed suit in Delaware Superior Court on June 3, 2016 alleging that Harold Haynes’ lung cancer diagnosis was caused by asbestos exposure. The plaintiffs specifically alleged that Harold Haynes was exposed to asbestos-containing products as a career auto mechanic for Volkswagen dealerships in Washington and Oregon between 1964 and 1980. On July 15, 2016, the case was removed to the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. Defendant Volkswagen filed a motion to dismiss based on personal jurisdiction…

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Summary Judgment Upheld for Georgia Pacific Because Proof Didn’t Distinguish Between Asbestos and Non-Asbestos Product Superior Court of Delaware, August 18, 2017

Defendant Georgia Pacific was granted partial summary judgment, in that all claims against the defendant “pre-1973” were barred. The plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration arguing that the court overlooked the fact that the defendant stopped distributing asbestos joint compound in September 1973. In response to the plaintiff’s motion, the defendant argued that the court properly granted partial summary judgment relating to the plaintiff’s pre-1973 claims as the decision was based on a Stigliano analysis, which states “ when the record reveals that a defendant…

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Summary Judgment Granted For Plaintiff’s Failure to File Complaint Within the Statute of Limitations Superior Court of Delaware, August 18, 2017

Ms. Bagwell filed suit against several defendants, alleging her husband developed lung cancer from asbestos related to Borg Warner clutches. The plaintiff’s brother was the sole fact witness who recalled his brother performing clutch work starting in 1965 through the 1980s approximately one time per week. The plaintiff’s expert report stated that the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos containing products including exposure to asbestos from the clutches. Mr. Bagwell was diagnosed in May of 2009 and passed away on January 28, 2010. The plaintiff’s complaint…

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Pump Manufacturer Obtains Summary Judgment Based on Lack of Maintenance History and Identification of Replacement Parts Superior Court of Delaware, August 18, 2017

Plaintiff Jill Dudley alleged that her husband Frank worked on pumps from 1966-67 while employed at Cam Chemical Company in Detroit, Michigan. Defendant FMC moved for summary judgment, which the court granted. Frank Dudley testified that at least ten pumps were made by Chicago Pump; he broke down these pumps and repaired the gaskets. The court applied Michigan law, which required proof that the injured plaintiff was exposed to an asbestos-containing product for which a defendant was responsible. Michigan law also applied the substantial factor…

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