Category Archives: Delaware

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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Court Denies Certification of Interlocutory Appeals on Personal Jurisdictional Grounds in Two Delaware Cases Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle, September 24, 2015

In these two cases from Delaware, the defendants’ motions to dismiss based on personal jurisdiction were denied. Defendants subsequently sought certification of their interlocutory appeals pursuant to Del. Sup. Ct. 42. The court denied defendants’ applications in both cases, pointing to the “substantial issue of material importance” prong of the Rule 42 requirements.  The court stated that the Delaware Supreme Court has repeatedly held that denial of a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction does not determine a “substantial issue.” In both cases,…

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Court Applies Delaware’s Borrowing Statute in Granting Defendants’ Summary Judgment on Statute of Limitations Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle, September 1, 2015

In this case, the plaintiff alleged that his lung cancer was caused by exposure to several defendants’ asbestos-containing products while he was working in Michigan. The plaintiff and his wife filed their claim in Delaware and all defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that the action was untimely under the Delaware statute of limitations, which they claimed applied pursuant to Delaware’s “Borrowing Statute,”10 Del. C. 8121. The court agreed and granted defendants’ motions for summary judgment. The court pointed out that the parties had agreed…

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