Category Archives: Maryland

Plaintiffs’ Daubert Challenge Denied as Expert Disclaims Causation Expertise United States District Court, D. Maryland, July 17, 2017

Plaintiffs filed their Daubert challenge seeking exclusion of Georgia Pacific’s Certified Industrial Hygienist, Donald Marano. Plaintiff argued that Mr. Marano would offer qualitative and quantitative exposures of Plaintiff along with the risk and causation of Mr. Arbogast’s mesothelioma. Georgia Pacific countered with the position that Mr. Marano has “repeatedly disclaimed any expertise on causation and has confined his opinion to explaining the risk assessments performed by various agencies and organizations and offering his risk assessment opinion based on the analysis that his profession is trained…

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Exclusion of Plaintiffs’ Causation Experts Leads to Granting of Summary Judgment United States District Court, D. Maryland, July 17, 2017

Plaintiffs filed suit against Georgia Pacific (“GP”) and Union Carbide Corporation (“UCC”) alleging Mr. Rockman’s peritoneal mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos for which both Defendants were responsible. Specifically, Mr. Rockman claimed “bystander” exposure to GP’s Ready Mix joint compound that contained UCC’s Calidria chrysotile asbestos during residential renovations in 1965, 1973 and 1976. Plaintiff stated that he was exposed during his time living in a Brooklyn apartment when a ceiling was repaired in 1965, again in 1973 during wall repair in Baltimore, MD…

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Maryland Court Affirms Application of Statute of Repose in Asbestos Matter Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, May 31, 2017

On December 13, 2013, plaintiff James F. Piper was diagnosed with mesothelioma and filed suit in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on March 26, 2014 for damages caused by his occupational asbestos exposure. Piper worked as a steamfitter at the Morgantown Generating Station in Woodzell, Maryland. In early 1970, defendant Westinghouse installed a turbine generator at this site to which the specifications called for the use of insulation containing asbestos. Piper testified that while he did not work directly on the installation of the…

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Prior Maryland Rulings Relied Upon in Denying Remand U.S. District Court of Maryland, May 5, 2017

The plaintiffs moved to remand after defendant Crane Co. removed to federal court. The court denied the plaintiff’s motion without oral argument. Decedent John Dugger served in the United States Navy during the 1960s and died of mesothelioma; the plaintiffs filed suit after his death. The plaintiffs alleged Crane manufactured and sold rope and valves to the Navy. Crane removed on the basis of the government contractor defense, and in support submitted affidavits from three individuals. Defendants may remove to federal court if it establishes…

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In Bystander Exposure Case, Plaintiff Failed to Demonstrate that Defendant Had a Duty to Warn Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, January 27, 2017

Plaintiff Daniel Hiett developed mesothelioma and alleged bystander exposure from his father’s work. The plaintiff alleged negligence and strict liability claims based on a failure to warn theory. The circuit court granted defendant AC&R Insulation Company, Inc,.’s (AC&R) motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff appealed, arguing that several material facts distinguished their case from Georgia Pacific, LLC v. Farrar, 432 Md. 532 (2013), which held that a manufacturer/distributor of a product containing asbestos did not owe a duty to warn the household member of…

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Defendants’ Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings Granted, but Plaintiffs Allowed to Amend Complaint U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, January 3, 2017

The plaintiffs initially filed a “short form asbestos complaint” in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland, that included general counts for negligence, strict liability, loss of consortium, conspiracy, and fraud. The plaintiffs also realleged and incorporated counts for wrongful death from the master complaint. The case was removed to federal court and the defendants filed the motion for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c), among other arguments, with the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. A motion for judgment on…

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Same Facts = Same Ruling? Nope! Baltimore Issues Grant and Denial of Summary Judgment In Two Groups of Smoking Lung Cancer Cases Circuit Court for Baltimore City, November 29, 2016

Two opposing decisions were rendered by two different judges in two factually and legally similar groups of smoking lung cancer cases. In Harrell et al. and Boston et al., asbestos defendants filed nearly identical motions for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiffs could not recover because (1) the plaintiffs knew the hazards of smoking and assumed the risk, and (2) were contributorily negligent. Summary judgment was granted in one group (Harrell et al.) and denied in the other (Boston et al

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Identity of Navy Ship Where Plaintiff Served Enough to Trigger Federal Officer Removability Clock U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, October 27, 2016

Plaintiff Marvin Smith alleged asbestos exposure while serving as a fireman in the U.S. Navy from 1951-54, and while working as a fireman and warehouseman at various shipyards and warehouses. The plaintiff and his wife sued various defendants in state court after he was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. Defendant Crane Co. removed this mesothelioma case to federal court under the federal officer removal statute; the plaintiffs moved to remand, alleging untimely removal, which the court granted. The plaintiffs argued removability was ascertainable when Smith was…

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Government Contractor Defense Applied to Crane Such That Motion to Remand to State Court Denied U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, September 29, 2016

The decedent’s family filed a complaint in state court, which was removed to federal court by Crane Co. based upon the federal officer defense. The plaintiffs filed a motion to remand or, in the alternative, to sever all claims other than those against Crane and to remand all other claims. The motion to remand was denied. The decedent served in the Navy from 1952-56, and was then employed at Bethlehem Steel Sparrows Point Shipyard from 1956-59; from 1959-63, the decedent worked as a laborer at…

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Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment to Defendants for Plaintiffs’ Failure to Establish Substantial Factor but Denies It as to Joint Compound and Outside Contractor Defendants United States District Court for the District of Maryland, July 25, 2016

Plaintiffs Charles Arbogast and Barbara Arbogast brought this action against multiple defendants for Mr. Arbogast’s alleged development of mesothelioma as a result of his occupational exposure at Bethlehem Steel Sparrows Point Steel Mill, amongst other sites. Several defendants moved for summary judgment, including Eaton Corporation (Cutler Hammer), Foster Wheeler, MCIC, Georgia Pacific (GP), Schneider Electric (Square D), Union Carbide (UCC), and Crane Co. The court began its analysis by reciting the standard for summary judgment, which is appropriate when “the movant shows there is no…

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