Category Archives: New Jersey

State Claims Against Railroad Defendants Preempted by Federal Law, Even If Operator of Locomotives Not Subject to Federal Regulation Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, November 19, 2015

The decedent was diagnosed with mesothelioma and alleged take-home asbestos exposure from the work of her father with defendant Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO) and also alleged exposure from her father’s personal automotive work. The decedent’s father repaired and maintained air brake systems on PATCO’s locomotives. Railroad defendants (Delaware River Port Authority, Railroad Friction Products Corporation, Thyssenkrupp Budd Company, Pneumo-Abex) moved for summary judgment, arguing that plaintiff’s claims were preempted by federal law. The district court granted this motion, ruling that federal legislation and precedent…

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Federal Court Applies Laws of New Jersey and the Third Circuit in Allowing Experts to Testify Regarding General, Not Specific, Causation in Case Alleging Renal Cancer U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, October 23, 2015

The plaintiff alleged that he developed renal cancer from asbestos exposure while working at the Philadelphia Navy yard, the New York Shipbuilding yard, and various automotive and electric shops in New Jersey. In July 2013, this case was removed to the federal court in Pennsylvania as part of MDL-875. Defendant Ford moved to exclude the expert testimony of Arthur Frank, M.D., Ph. D., and Scott A. Bralow, D.O., because: (1) the “any exposure” theory underlying their opinions has been deemed inadmissible under Pennsylvania law; (2)…

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Applying Maritime Law, Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment, Refusing to Speculate on Decedent’s Exposure to Pump Defendant’s Products While in the Navy U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, September 29, 2015

Plaintiff Josephine Fuoco, as executrix of the estate of Joseph Fuoco, alleged that Mr. Fuoco contracted mesothelioma while serving in the U.S. Navy as a machinists’ mate and as a construction worker. Defendant Warren Pumps moved for summary judgment, which the court granted. Warren did not dispute that its circulating pumps were on the USS Ammen, the ship on which Mr. Fuoco served. However, no fact witness offered testimony regarding Mr. Fuoco’s alleged asbestos exposure on board this shop. Warren was added to the…

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New Jersey Legislation Proposing to Change Statute of Limitations for Mesothelioma Cases

On September 24, 2015, legislation was introduced in New Jersey that would create new Statute of Limitations for civil actions for personal injury and wrongful death caused by mesothelioma. First, the bill would amend New Jersey statute § 2A:14-2, actions for injury caused by wrongful act, appointment of guardian ad litem.  It would add a subsection stating that an action for damages for damages for personal injury from mesothelioma related to exposure to asbestos may be commenced at any time, and that such action shall…

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Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand Denied as Complaint Did Not Put Defendants on Notice of Federal Claims U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, July 30, 2015

In this federal court case, the plaintiff alleged exposure to various products while working at various worksites as a machinist, pipefitter, and electrician during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Several defendants removed the case based on the federal officer removal statute 28 U.S.C. 1442(a)(1) alleging that the federal court had jurisdiction because there is a “government contractor defense” to the claims.  The plaintiff moved to remand arguing that the removal was untimely as the defendants were initially put on notice of the federal claims from…

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Grant of Summary Judgment to Defendant Reversed Under the Jones Act and Maritime Law Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, March 3, 2015

In this case, the plaintiff claimed that the decedent was exposed to asbestos-containing insulation and winch brakes aboard various dredges and commercial vessels on which he worked over the years. “[P]laintiff asserted a Jones Act negligence claim under 46 U.S.C.A. § 30104 and a general maritime unseaworthiness claim under 28 U.S.C.A. § 1333.” The defendants, Weeks Marine, Inc. and American Atlantic Company, moved for summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiff did not establish that he was exposed to asbestos aboard these vessels. The…

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