Category Archives: Motions in Limine

Plaintiff’s Expert Testimony Precluded and Summary Judgment Granted Where Expert Opinion Did Not Rely Upon Sufficient Facts or Data U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, June 6, 2016

Plaintiffs Charles Lemuel Arbogast, Jr., et al. filed suit against a number of companies, including defendant CBS Corporation of Delaware (Westinghouse), that allegedly manufactured and/or distributed products containing asbestos to which the plaintiff was exposed, thereby causing his mesothelioma. The plaintiff offered Dr. Robert Leonard Vance as an expert in matters involving industrial hygiene and asbestos exposures.  Dr. Vance’s written opinion as to Westinghouse focused on two products:  asbestos “socks” and Micarta.  The plaintiff later conceded that that no liability existed as to the asbestos…

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Plaintiff’s Expert’s Testimony Precluded and Summary Judgment Granted Where Expert Disclosure Was Untimely, the Expert Opinion Lacked Sufficient Factual Basis, and Plaintiff’s Claims Were Legally Insufficient on Causation U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, May 18, 2016

In this case, the plaintiff sued numerous manufacturers and distributors of products allegedly containing asbestos, including Defendant General Electric Company (GE), following his diagnosis of mesothelioma. The plaintiff designated Dr. Robert Vance, an industrial hygienist, to testify regarding the sources of the plaintiff’s asbestos exposure. As to GE, Dr. Vance noted in his report that the plaintiff claimed to have worked with GE generators and asbestos-braided wiring at various job sites. Dr. Vance did not offer an opinion in his report regarding the plaintiff’s alleged…

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Court of Appeals of Ohio Finds Reversible Error in Refusal of Daubert Hearing On Basis of Opinions of Drs. Strauchen and Frank Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth Appellate District, Cuyahoga County, May 5, 2016

In this case it is alleged that the decedent, Glenn Watkins, was exposed to chrysotile asbestos dust from the sanding of Bendix brakes while working as a manager at various Auto Shack and AutoZone retail stores between 1985 and 2006 and that this exposure was a substantial cause of his pleural mesothelioma and death. Prior to trial, all defendants other than Honeywell International Inc. settled or were dismissed. The issue at trial was whether Watkins’ handling of Bendix brakes was a cause-in-fact of his mesothelioma,…

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Citing New York Case Law, Court Denies Crane Co.’s Motion in Limine to Preclude ‘Each and Every Exposure’ Opinion Supreme Court of New York, New York County, April 21, 2016

This opinion addressed potential causation testimony offered by the plaintiffs in two cases. In one case, the plaintiff’s decedent died of mesothelioma prior to being deposed. The decedent’s nephew and co-worker testified during deposition that his uncle was exposed to asbestos while working as a sheet metal worker at shipyards, and while installing furnaces, from the 1960s-70s. His testimony included exposure to insulation, packing, gaskets, and pipe covering used in connection with Crane valves. In the second case, the decedent, a career Navy man, died…

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Regardless of Whether New York or Maritime Law Applied, Government Contractor and Bare Metal Defenses Insufficient to Grant Summary Judgment to Foster Wheeler U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, March 21, 2016

The plaintiff alleged the decedent was exposed to asbestos while serving in the Navy from 1947-52, and while on board the USS Charles H. Roan. Defendants Foster Wheeler and General Electric removed to federal court pursuant to the federal officer statute. Foster Wheeler moved for summary judgment based on: (1) the government contractor defense; (2) bare metal defense; and (3) its products were not a substantial factor in causing injury. Crane Co. also moved for summary judgment; Crane, CBS Corp., and Foster Wheeler also…

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NYCAL Court Grants Spoliation Motion Against Pipe Manufacturer for Lost and Destroyed Company Documents Supreme Court of New York, New York County, November 5, 2015

In this NYCAL case, it was alleged that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from work he and others in his vicinity performed with Johns Manville (JM) transite pipe. The plaintiff moved for a spoliation charge, alleging that in 1990 JM was grossly negligent in the disappearance of more than 10 banker boxes of business records when transferring headquarters and in 1997 intentionally destroyed another 27 boxes of business records. The documents destroyed in 1997 were done so by James Richert, a former JM employee…

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Defendants’ Motion in Limine To Exclude Expert Testimony on “Each and Every Exposure” Opinion Denied Based on Federal and Illinois Law U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, September 21, 2015

Various defendants filed a motion in limine to exclude the testimony of Matthew A. Vuskovich, M.D., M.S.P.H., arguing that he does not satisfy the requirements for expert testimony outlined in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). Specifically, defendants sought to exclude his opinions based on the “every exposure” theory, because it is not accepted by the scientific community or the courts. The court denied the motion, as Federal Rule of Evidence 702 allowed for the theoretical basis for Dr. Vuskovich’s…

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Plaintiff’s Expert Industrial Hygienist Found to Be Qualified to Offer Testimony on Non-Specific Levels of Asbestos Exposure U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, June 25, 2015

In this federal court case, the decedent, Sally Gros Vedros, is alleged to have been exposed to asbestos from laundering her father’s work clothes during the time he worked as a welder at the Avondale shipyard from 1943 to 1976 and from her own work at Avondale in the purchasing department from 1960 to 1963. The defendant, Bayer CropScience, Inc., which was the successor to several companies that formerly were known as Amchem Company, moved to preclude plaintiff’s industrial hygienist, Frank Parker, III, from testifying,…

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Mixed Ruling on Brake Manufacturers’ Motions to Preclude Case Reports U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, May 30, 2015

In this federal court action, it is alleged that the plaintiff, Graham Yates, was exposed to asbestos brake products while working in various employment positions and from working on his own vehicles. The defendants, Ford Motor Company and Honeywell International, Inc. moved in limine on several different grounds to preclude case reports. The court ruled as follows: The defendants challenged the case reports on the grounds of relevancy and reliability. In a lengthy analysis, the court denied the motion. Regarding relevance, the court looked at…

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Mixed Ruling on Brake Defendant’s Motion in Limine on Expert Testimony Regarding Corporate Conduct U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, May 29, 2015

In this federal court action, it is alleged that the plaintiff, Graham Yates, was exposed to asbestos brake products while working as a gas station attendant from 1956-1957, as a parts salesman and delivery driver for a Ford dealership in the 1960s, as a clerk in an automobile parts warehouse from 1961-1962, and from working on his own vehicles in the 1950s and 1960s. The defendant, Ford, brought a motion in limine to exclude expert testimony regarding corporate conduct. The court provided a lengthy analysis…

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