Category Archives: Maritime/Admiralty Law

Standard Based Approach in Bare Metal Defense Permits Sailors to Recover in Negligence U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, October 3, 2017

The plaintiffs filed suit in negligence and strict liability against several defendants arguing their decedents died from mesotheliomas as a result of their exposure to asbestos containing products for which defendants were responsible. Both plaintiffs alleged exposure while working on-board naval vessels. The defendants removed the case to federal court and summary judgment was granted in their favor on the bare metal defense. The plaintiff separately appealed on the issues of negligence. The appeal was remanded to sort out the negligence issue against the backdrop…

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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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Prior Settlement that Included Future Claims Not Enough to Grant Motion for Summary Judgment Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, August 29, 2017

Plaintiffs Mason South and his wife filed suit under the Jones Act against several defendants, including Texaco, alleging his mesothelioma developed as a result of exposure to asbestos containing products for which defendants were responsible. Mr. South served as a merchant marine for 37 years. Texaco moved for summary judgment arguing that suit was precluded by a prior release signed by the plaintiff in an earlier lawsuit from 1997. Specifically, Mr. South had released Texaco from “all bodily and/or personal injuries, sickness or death” from…

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Summary Judgment Recommended for Naval Boiler Manufacturer on Issues of Product Identification and Bare Metal Defense U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, August 21, 2017

The plaintiff filed suit alleging Mr. Tallman developed mesothelioma while serving in the U.S. Navy from 1947-67. Foster Wheeler removed the case to the United States District Court. Mr. Tallman served on board the USS Caloosahatchee as a boiler tender from 1948-56. Specifically, the plaintiff contended that Mr. Tallman’s mesothelioma developed as a result of exposure to asbestos for which Foster Wheeler was responsible. Two fact witnesses were offered for deposition. Mr. Nealon testified that he served on board the USS Caloosahatchee from 1951-54. He…

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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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“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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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