Category Archives: Missouri

Collateral Estoppel Applied to Bar Second Asbestos Case Against Crane by Same Plaintiff U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, March 8, 2017

The decedent, a civilian employee for the United States Navy from 1958-1964, died from mesothelioma. Prior to passing he brought suit in St. Louis City, Missouri, in December 2015, which the defendants removed to federal court. His representatives continued the suit after he passed. Defendant Crane Co. filed a motion to dismiss based upon collateral estoppel. The court granted this motion. In December 2009, the decedent brought an action against Crane and others in Massachusetts based upon asbestosis. Crane filed a motion for summary judgment…

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Defendant Fails to Establish Two Elements Necessary for Interlocutory Appeal

The plaintiff sued approximately 78 defendants alleging his mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos while working as a civilian for the U.S. Navy from 1958-1964, and two other employers from 1966-1969, and again from 1969-1997. CBS moved to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction arguing that its contacts with Missouri did not satisfy the due process right laid down by the Daimler decision. The court denied the motion. CBS then sought certification of an interlocutory appeal of whether “CBS has consented to…

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Plaintiff’s Motion for Costs, Fees, Expenses, and Sanctions Denied but Granted as to Remand for Untimely Removal U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division, October 27, 2016

The plaintiff brought this suit against numerous defendants including Ford Motor Company. She alleged that the decedent developed and passed from mesothelioma as a result of exposure to dust from products manufactured, sold, and distributed while Mr. Bristol worked as a mechanic at a Ford dealership from 1972-1989. Ford removed the case a day after trial began and well over a year from the date the complaint was filed. The plaintiff moved for sanctions and to remand stating that Ford failed to obtain consent of…

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Plaintiff’s Own Allegations Fail to Establish Personal Jurisdiction Against Defendant Federal-Mogul U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division August 5, 2016

In the same case reported on today, the court also determined whether personal jurisdiction existed for defendant Federal-Mogul Asbestos Injury Trust, as successor to the former Vellumoid Division of Federal-Mogul and as successor to Felt-Products Manufacturing Co. (Federal-Mogul). The plaintiff failed to respond to Federal-Mogul’s personal jurisdiction motion. The complaint listed 78 defendants, and alleged that all defendants were amenable to suit in Missouri by reason of having sold, distributed and/or installed asbestos-containing products in Missouri or by reason of having placed the same…

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Plaintiff’s Attempt to Avoid Federal Subject Matter Jurisdiction by Disclaiming Federal Officer Claims Unsuccessful U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division, August 5, 2016

The plaintiff asserted various claims against 78 defendants due to mesothelioma developed from alleged asbestos exposure incurred during his civilian work in the Navy from 1958-64, Kambien from 1966-69, and Polaroid from 1969-97.  The plaintiff attempted to make the action un-removable by disclaiming any relief for injuries sustained upon a federal enclave or as a result of malfeasance of persons acting as federal officers. However, the plaintiff’s deposition testimony triggered defendant Crane’s right to remove.  Crane timely removed and the plaintiff moved to remand, which…

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Diversity Jurisdiction Not Established Where Volkswagen Failed to Prove Fraudulent Joinder of Missouri Defendant U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, May 26, 2016

Nebraska plaintiffs filed an action in Missouri state court after the decedent died of mesothelioma.  After five defendants remained, defendant Volkswagen filed for removal based upon diversity jurisdiction, and alleged that the defendant, J.P. Bushnell Packing Supply Company, a Missouri corporation, was fraudulently joined.  This matter was before the court sua sponte to determine whether jurisdiction existed.  Finding no jurisdiction, the court remanded. Any doubts about the propriety of removal are resolved in favor of remand.  In diversity jurisdiction, complete diversity exists where no defendant…

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Cause Remanded to State Court After Federal Officer Defendants Dismissed U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, May 19, 2016

The plaintiff filed an asbestos suit in Missouri; defendant Crane Co. removed to federal court based on federal officer jurisdiction, in which Warren Pumps and CBS Corporation joined.  All three defendants were dismissed and the plaintiff moved to remand, which the court granted.  “…[I]f the federal party is eliminated from the suit after removal…the district court does not lose its…jurisdiction over the state law claims against the remaining non-federal parties…Instead, the district court retains the power either to adjudicate the underlying state law claims or…

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Jury in St. Louis City, Missouri Awards Multi-Million Dollar Verdict to Wife of Lifelong Electrician 22nd Judicial Circuit of Missouri, St. Louis City, January 25, 2016

The plaintiff’s decedent was a lifelong electrician from 1963 to 2001 with a large number of work sites.  The decedent died of mesothelioma at age 72. After numerous co-worker depositions, the case proceeded to trial against defendant The Okonite Company. The jury found that Okonite was negligent and assigned it 5 percent of the total causal responsibility. The jury awarded: $165,000 medical expenses; $1,825,000 for decedent’s pain and suffering; $350,000 for pre-death loss of society and companionship; and $1,825,000 post-death loss of society and companionship,…

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Missouri Court, Applying Maryland Law, Upholds $4 Million Verdict, Rejecting Arguments on Expert Challenges, Offsets, and Defective Damages Verdict Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Division Four, September 22, 2015

In this case, the plaintiff worked as a steamfitter between 1958 and 1983 at a variety of industrial and commercial sites. Of the original 57 defendants, only valve manufacturer Nibco, Inc. went to trial, which resulted in a $4 million plaintiff’s verdict with the trial court applying Maryland law. On appeal, Nibco raised four issues: it should have been granted a directed verdict; the plaintiff’s experts were allowed to offer opinions based on facts not in evidence; the lower court improperly denied setoff rights; and…

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Joint Compound Manufacturer’s Summary Judgment Overturned on Appeal Based on Issue of Fact of Plaintiff’s Contradictory Testimony Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Division One, September 22, 2015

In this case, the plaintiff,  David Bergstrom, claimed exposure to asbestos while working as a contractor installing drywall for various companies between 1962 and 2011. The trial court granted the defendant, joint compound manufacturer Welco, summary judgment based on the plaintiff’s testimony that he did not have any exposure to joint compound after 1979 and was not exposed to Welco’s product, Welco, prior to 1979. In opposition to the motion, the plaintiff alleged that he did not make such a clear admission, that his testimony…

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