Category Archives: Louisiana

Port Commission’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction Granted Where Plaintiff’s Work was Predominantly Land Based U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, March 13, 2017

Mr. Genusa developed mesothelioma as a result of his work as a longshoreman, truck loader, and warehouse worker from 1963-1999. Mr. Genusa passed away and a claim was paid by Baton Rouge Marine Contractors (BRMC) and Signal Mutual Indemnity under the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act. The plaintiffs instituted this action against 13 defendants that allegedly “designed, tested, evaluated, manufactured, packaged, furnished, stored, handled, transported, installed, supplied and/or sold asbestos containing products to recover the benefits paid to Mr. Genusa’s wife. The last standing…

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Laws of Two States Applied to Two Different Issues U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, March 6, 2017

The plaintiff alleged the decedent, who died of mesothelioma, was exposed to asbestos while serving as an engineman, machinery repairman, and machinist mate in the U.S. Navy during the 1960s. Although the majority of the decedent’s exposure occurred on four ships, to which maritime law applied, the plaintiff also alleged exposure during the six months decedent trained at a land-based naval academy in Idaho. Here the court decided whether Idaho or Louisiana applied to this six-month time frame. The plaintiff argued Louisiana law applied, and…

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Summary Judgment Granted as to Two Defendants and Denied for Several Others in Bare Metal Defense Case

The plaintiffs brought this action against several defendants for their decedent’s alleged development of mesothelioma while working aboard ships as an engine man, machinery repairman, and machinist mate. The defendants moved for summary judgment again after the court announced it would not adopt the Sixth Circuit’s version of the bare metal defense. The court concluded that “the bare metal defense should immunize only a narrower range of conduct.” Summary Judgment is appropriate when the court determines that there is no genuine dispute as to material…

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Daubert Challenges Result in Experts Being Allowed to Testify Regarding General Causation; Not Specific Causation U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, March 6, 2017

In this federal court case, it was alleged that the plaintiff’s decedent was exposed to asbestos while serving in various job duties while in the U.S. Navy during the 1960s.  The plaintiff brought two Daubert motions seeking to preclude the defendants’ experts, Drs Michael Graham and Mark Taragin, from testifying. Dr. Graham is a forensic pathologist and Dr. Taragin is an epidemiologist.  The court granted in part and denied in part the plaintiff’s motions. The court would allow each expert to provide general causation testimony…

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Pain and Suffering Damages Found as Pecuniary Under Maritime Law; Summary Judgment Granted in Part and Denied in Part U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, March 6, 2017

The defendants moved for summary judgment arguing that the plaintiff, John Bell, lacked standing to pursue a wrongful death or survival action under the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA). Specifically, the defendants relied on the language in DOHSA, which stated that “when death of an individual is caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default occurring on the high seas beyond 3 nautical miles from the shore of the United States, the personal representative of the decedent may bring a civil action” and the…

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Favorable Defense Discovery Rulings, Including Preclusion of Treating Physicians from Testifying as Experts U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, February 2, 2017

The district court issued two opinions in the same case, issuing various rulings on motions brought by both parties. The plaintiff alleged he developed lung cancer from asbestos exposure while employed by Freeport Sulphur Company, predecessor to Mosaic Global Holdings, Inc. This case started in Louisiana state court, and was removed by Mosaic. The primary rulings on these motions are summarized below. The plaintiff moved to exclude evidence of settled claims and collateral sources of compensation. The defendants argued that both settlement agreements and collateral…

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Certain Bankruptcy Trust Information Ruled Discoverable in Louisiana U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, January 23, 2017

The plaintiff alleged he developed lung cancer due to his asbestos exposure while working on the premises of Freeport’s Port Sulphur facility, other facilities, and various drilling rigs. The defendants removed to federal court on the bases of original jurisdiction under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. The plaintiff filed a motion to quash subpoena and notice of records deposition, and a motion for protective order. The court analyzed both at the same time, as both contained substantially the same arguments. Defendant McCarty Corporation issued…

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Plaintiff Fails to Satisfy Burden to Vacate Defense Verdict Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, December 21, 2016

Plaintiff Dan Freeman filed a Seaman’s Petition for Damages against a number of defendants under state law, general maritime law, and the Jones Act on July 26, 2011. Freeman alleged that while he was working on drilling rigs, he was exposed to asbestos drilling mud products, and ultimately developed “asbestos maladies” as a result of the defendants’ asbestos products. By the time of trial in 2015, only two defendants remained, to which the jury returned a defense verdict dismissing all claims with prejudice. Freeman timely…

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Take Home Mesothelioma Case Remanded After Plaintiff Adds Dismissed Defendant to Amended Complaint U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, November 4, 2016

Charleen Guedry brought this action against multiple defendants for her alleged development of mesothelioma as a result of exposure through her husband’s work clothes. Mr. Guedry worked at International Maintenance/Turner from 1983-2005. The plaintiffs moved to dismiss claims without prejudice against defendant Arnco on May 12, 2016. Co-defendant Brock indicated to the plaintiffs its intent to remove the case on diversity since Arnco was being dismissed. On May 19, 2016, the plaintiffs withdrew the dismissal of Arnco and desired to conduct discovery based on receiving…

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Affidavits Used in Other Cases Enough to Establish Removal Under Federal Officer Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, November 30, 2016

The plaintiff brought a wrongful death lawsuit after her husband died of mesothelioma, alleging asbestos exposure during her husband’s service in the Navy. Originally filed in Madison County, Illinois, defendant Crane Co. removed on the basis of the federal officer removal statute. The plaintiff filed a motion to remand, arguing that Crane waived its right to remove by first filing a motion to dismiss in state court, and that Crane failed to establish federal subject matter jurisdiction. The court denied the plaintiff’s motion. Regarding waiver…

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