Category Archives: Missouri

Collateral Estoppel Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Pump Manufacturer U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, September 11, 2017

MISSOURI — The plaintiffs filed suit in Missouri against multiple defendants including Buffalo Pumps, arguing that their decedent, Berj Hovsepian, developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos containing products for which the defendants were responsible. The case was removed to the U.S. District Court. Prior to filing the Missouri suit, the plaintiffs filed suit against Buffalo in Massachusetts asserting very similar allegations. Buffalo moved for summary judgment in the Massachusetts case. The motion was granted as unopposed. In the instant matter, Buffalo moved…

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Missouri Appeals Court Affirms $10M Punitive Damage Award Against Valve Manufacturer Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, May 2, 2017

Jeannette G. Poage, the plaintiff, filed a products liability suit against defendant Crane Co. in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, alleging that her husband, James E. Poage, suffered personal injuries and wrongful death from mesothelioma, which was caused from Mr. Poage’s work with the defendant’s products. Mr. Poage served in the U.S. Navy from 1954-58 as a machinist on the USS Haynesworth where he helped maintain the valves on the ship that required replacing gaskets and packing. The plaintiff alleged that…

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Upon Reconsideration, Finding of Jurisdiction Reversed Due to Missouri Supreme Court Ruling in State ex rel. Norfolk S. Ry. Co. v. Dolan U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, April 21, 2017

The plaintiffs were the special representative of the decedent, Berj Hovsepian, a civilian employee of the Navy from 1958-64 who died of mesothelioma. Originally filed in the City of St. Louis, Missouri, it was removed to federal court where defendant CBS Corporation filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. After the motion was denied, CBS moved to reconsider due to a change in controlling law. The court reconsidered and reversed its ruling, holding no personal jurisdiction existed over CBS. Motions to reconsider…

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Missouri Court of Appeals Finds Totality of Circumstances Standard Sufficient to Prove Causation under Wisconsin Law Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Division Three, March 28, 2017

Plaintiff Jean Urbach filed suit against 29 defendants on claims of negligence, strict liability, willful and wanton misconduct, and loss of consortium arguing that the defendants’ products caused her husband, Keith Urbach, to be exposed to asbestos, develop mesothelioma, and ultimately was the cause of his death. The plaintiff argues that Urbach was exposed to and inhaled friable asbestos fibers during his career as an electrician from 1963 to 2001. Urbach was diagnosed with mesothelioma in August 2011 and passed away in February 2012. The…

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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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