Category Archives: Maritime/Admiralty Law

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…

Continue Reading....

“Discovery Rule” Applied for Plaintiffs’ Claim to Survive Two-Year Statue of Limitations U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, March 2, 2017

The plaintiffs asserted that the decedent, Joseph Conneen, was exposed to asbestos while working as a pipefitter and plumber from 1962-80 at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and Rohm and Haas. The decedent died of lung cancer. The complaint was filed on January 20, 2015. In March 2015, the case was removed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania as part of MDL-875. Defendant Goulds moved for summary judgment on the basis of Pennsylvania’s two-year statute of limitations. The court denied this…

Continue Reading....

Magistrate Judge Recommends Granting Summary Judgment to Four Defendants Due to Lack of Evidence U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, February 15, 2017

A report and recommendation was made regarding four summary judgment motions filed by defendants Gardner Denver, Flowserve, Atwood & Morrill Company, and Nash Engineering. The plaintiffs did not respond to any of the motions for summary judgment. The magistrate judge recommended granting all four motions. The plaintiffs originally filed in Delaware state court, alleging that Icom Henry Evans developed mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure while a fireman and boiler tender with the U.S. Navy from 1957-1967. Foster Wheeler removed to federal court. The only fact…

Continue Reading....

Valve Manufacturer’s Summary Judgment Denied in Failure to Warn Case Despite Bare Metal Defense U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division, February 13, 2017

The plaintiffs brought this action against Crane Co. alleging James Chesher developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos containing packing and gaskets found inside Crane Co. valves while he served in the United States Navy from 1965-1989. The court began its discussion by stating the standard for summary judgment. Summary judgment is appropriate when the “pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the movant is…

Continue Reading....

No Error in Recommendation of Summary Judgment Where Plaintiffs Failed to Establish Causation U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, January 9, 2017

Summary Judgment was recommended by the magistrate for the plaintiffs’ failure to establish causation in this case. The plaintiff appealed and contended that his asbestos related disease was a result of exposure to asbestos from Foster Wheeler boilers while working onboard the USS Gridley. The court noted that the standard of review of a magistrate’s report and recommendation is de novo. In this case, no party objected to the application of maritime law. Accordingly, the plaintiff had the burden to show: 1) The plaintiff…

Continue Reading....

Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment Granted for Lack of Exposure Evidence and Opposition U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, December 29, 2016

The plaintiffs brought this action against multiple defendants alleging Mr. Evans developed an asbestos related disease as a result of his exposure to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy. Mr. Evans alleged that he worked as a fireman and boiler tender on-board the USS Kearsarge from 1957-61 and USS Bole in 1961. Mr. Evans believed that he had been exposed to asbestos from gaskets and refractory products while in the U.S. Navy. Mr. Evans also alleged that he had been exposed to brake dust…

Continue Reading....

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…

Continue Reading....

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…

Continue Reading....

Plaintiffs’ Dismissal with Prejudice of Claims Against Defendant Rendered Third-Party Demand for Contribution Void U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, November 18, 2016

Third-party defendant Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, Limited (IDC) filed a motion to dismiss defendant Cooper/T. Smith Stevedoring Company, Inc.’s (Cooper) third party complaint. The court granted IDC’s motion and remanded the case to state court. The plaintiffs filed suit on behalf of decedent Earl Lindsay, who died of lung cancer. The plaintiffs alleged the decedent worked as a longshoreman for several Cooper companies in the Port of New Orleans from 1954-1979, and during this time was exposed to asbestos. As against IDC, the…

Continue Reading....

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…

Continue Reading....