Category Archives: Missouri

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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Court Provides Mixed Ruling in Applying Kansas Law and Granting Summary Judgment to One Defendant, but not the Other U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Western Division, September 3, 2015

In this case, the plaintiff, John New, alleged exposure to asbestos while working at various businesses in Kansas and Missouri. Defendants Hennessy Industries and Caterpillar Incorporated moved to apply Kansas law and for summary judgment. The court granted in part Hennessy’s motion and dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint. The court found that Kansas law “possesses the most significant relationship to these parties and causes of actions.” In its assessment, the court reviewed four factors: the place of exposure and diagnosis, where the conduct causing the injury…

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State of The Art Experts Drs. Markowitz and Rosner Found Qualified to Testify U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Western Division, September 3, 2015

In this case, the plaintiff, John New, alleged exposure to asbestos while working at various businesses in Kansas and Missouri. Defendant Caterpillar Incorporated moved to strike the expert state of the art testimony of historians Dr. Gerald Markowitz and Dr. David Rosner, arguing that “…(1) their testimony will not assist the jury in deciding any issue in this case; (2) they fail to qualify as ‘experts’ under Rule 702; (3) their report was written solely for the purposes of litigation; (4) their report is unreliable…

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Appellate Court Reverses and Certifies an Asbestos Class Action for Medical Monitoring Costs Court of Appeals of Missouri, March 17, 2015

In 1983-84, it was alleged that during a retrofit project of the Jackson County courthouse, the contractors did not turn off the ventilation system, which allegedly caused asbestos to be circulated throughout the courthouse. “Dust containing asbestos fibers was blown and tracked throughout the Courthouse resulting in layers of dust accumulated throughout the Courthouse and described by one witness as an asbestos powder coating ‘that you could run your hands through,’ it covered ‘everything in various offices,’ and ‘it would be on the floors and…

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