Category Archives: Delaware

Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment Granted for Plaintiffs’ Failure to Establish Exposure Evidence U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, December 29, 2016

The plaintiff alleged he developed mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos while working with the U.S. Navy from 1961-64 and from 1961-78 with various employers. Defendant Crane Co. removed the case to the U.S. District Court on August 31, 2015. Defendants CBS Corporation, Goodyear Tire and Rubber, FMC Corporation, and Ingersoll Rand moved for summary judgment. The plaintiff filed no opposition to those motions. The court began its analysis with the standard for summary judgment. Summary judgment is appropriate when there is…

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Court Denies Defendant’s Motion to Apply Federal Maritime Law U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, December 29, 2016

Plaintiffs Ralph Elliott Shaw and Joan Sanderson Shaw initiated this action by filing a complaint in the Superior Court of Delaware on February 26, 2015 asserting various causes of action arising out of Mr. Shaw’s alleged exposure to asbestos throughout his employment. Specifically, the plaintiff’s allegations include Mr. Shaw’s occupational exposure as a sheet metal worker in Groton, Connecticut from approximately 1952 to 1954 and 1957 to 1967. Mr. Shaw alleged exposure to asbestos throughout his employment, at various submarine factories and shipyards with respect…

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Bankruptcy Court Grants Asbestos Defendants Limited Access to Bankrupt Trust Exhibits U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, November 8, 2016

Honeywell International, Inc. who was joined by Ford Motor Company moved for an order authorizing “any entity . . . to access, inspect, copy and receive copies of … any and all of the 2019 Exhibits filed with the Court in compliance with the 2019 Order or Bankruptcy Rule 2019.” In other words, Honeywell and Ford were seeking an order allowing it access to the statements and exhibits which asbestos claimants submitted in the captioned cases pursuant to Rule 2019 of the Federal Rules

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Certification of Class for Unmanifested Asbestos Claims in Bankruptcy Court Denied U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, September 28, 2016

Debtors filed voluntary petitions for relief in the United States Bankruptcy Court; certain debtors’ subsidiaries have potential liability related to former employees’ alleged exposure to asbestos in power plants owned or operated by debtors’ predecessors. The bankruptcy court issued an order setting a bar date for all asbestos claimants, establishing requirements for proofs of claim for manifested and unmanifested asbestos claimants, and notice procedures. Appellants filed a motion seeking to have the court, among other things, certify a class of persons holding unmanifested asbestos claims.…

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Court Grants Summary Judgment for Defendant Boiler Manufacturer Based on Lack of Causation Under Maritime Law U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, September 16, 2016

Plaintiffs Jimmy R. Mitchell and Connie Mitchell filed suit alleging that Mr. Mitchell developed lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products, in part during the course of his employment as a boiler fireman with the U.S. Navy from 1976-79. Defendant Foster Wheeler filed for summary judgment and argued, among other things, lack of causation. To establish causation under maritime law (which both parties agree applied), plaintiffs must show that (1) Mr. Mitchell was exposed to a Foster Wheeler boiler; (2) the exposure…

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Magistrate Judge Recommends Various Rulings on Five Summary Judgment Motions Filed by Defendants U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, August 19, 2016

The United States Magistrate Judge recommended disposition on five summary judgment motions filed by various defendants in this mesothelioma case wherein plaintiffs alleged asbestos exposure during plaintiff Mark Hillyer’s employment with the U.S. Navy from 1967-1997.  The only product identification witness was plaintiff Mark Hillyer, who testified that he was exposed to asbestos through his maintenance work on reactor plant systems, steam plant systems, engines, and turbine generators.  In deciding these motions, the court applied maritime law such that plaintiff must show that (1) he…

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Defendants Granted Summary Judgment Where Plaintiff Failed to Satisfy Frequency, Proximity, Regularity Standard U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, August 9, 2016

Plaintiff Robert Lee Winhauer filed an asbestos action in the Delaware Superior Court against multiple defendants, asserting personal injury claims relating to a mesothelioma diagnosis proximately caused by alleged exposure to asbestos. The defendants removed the action to the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. After Winhauer’s death, the complaint was amended to substitute a representative of the estate and add a wrongful death claim. The defendants Honeywell (successor in interest to Bendix) and Ingersoll Rand both filed motions for summary judgment, which…

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Various Manufacturers Granted Summary Judgment Under Mississippi Law, Including Acceptance of Bare Metal Defense U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, July 13, 2016

The plaintiff, Robert Lee Winhauer, commenced this action alleging asbestos exposure from his personal work on his automobiles from the 1940s through the 1990s, from his work at the Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi from 1965 to 1976 and while working at Courtaulds North America Rayon Staple Plant in Le Moyne, Alabama from 1977 to 1998. Nine defendants, John Crane, John Crane Inc. (JCI), Flowserve US Inc., Carver Pump Co. , Sterling Fluid Systems (USA) LLC, FMC Corp., Velan Valve Corp., Borg-Warner (D.I. 173), and…

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Federal Magistrate Judge Recommends Denial of Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand in Two Cases Originating in Delaware U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, February 5, 2016

In two nearly identical cases from the District of Delaware, the magistrate judge issued a report and recommendation, recommending the denial of the plaintiffs’ motion to remand to state court. In the first case, the plaintiff husband and wife alleged that the husband developed mesothelioma through exposure to asbestos while serving as a boiler tender in the Navy, while working at the shipyard, and through personal automotive work. In the second case, the plaintiff husband and wife alleged that the husband developed mesothelioma through asbestos…

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District Court Adopts Report and Recommendation of Magistrate in Both Granting and Denying Summary Judgment to Various Defendants U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, January 26, 2016

The district court reviewed the report and recommendations of the U.S. Magistrate Judge, which recommended granting and denying summary judgment to various defendants. The court applied maritime law in granting summary judgment to Electrolux, ABB, Velan Valve, GE, CBS, Foster Wheeler, and Owens-Illinois, and denying summary judgment to Buffalo, Ingersoll-Rand (denied in part), Aurora, IMO, and Warren (denied in part). The court granted summary judgment on the issue of punitive damages to Ingersoll Rand and Warren, because the plaintiff failed to establish same. The court…

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