Category Archives: Statute of Repose

Maryland Court Affirms Application of Statute of Repose in Asbestos Matter Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, May 31, 2017

On December 13, 2013, plaintiff James F. Piper was diagnosed with mesothelioma and filed suit in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on March 26, 2014 for damages caused by his occupational asbestos exposure. Piper worked as a steamfitter at the Morgantown Generating Station in Woodzell, Maryland. In early 1970, defendant Westinghouse installed a turbine generator at this site to which the specifications called for the use of insulation containing asbestos. Piper testified that while he did not work directly on the installation of the…

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Dissolved Company Failed to Meet Notice Requirements of Statute of Repose Superior Court of Rhode Island, March 13, 2017

Defendant Grover S. Wormer Company, individually and as successor-in-interest to Wright-Austin Company, brought a motion to dismiss the asbestos litigation filed on behalf of Frank D’Amico in the Superior Court of Rhode Island, Providence.  Wormer originally brought its motion under Super. R. Civ. P 12(b)(6) and contended that the plaintiff’s claims for liability are barred under Michigan’s Business Corporation Act Chapter 8 (the BCA), which governs the dissolution of corporations and provides a Statute of Repose to bar continued liability.  The plaintiff did not contest…

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Rhode Island Court Applies Maine Law to Deny Summary Judgment to Insulation Contractor Superior Court of Rhode Island, March 13, 2017

The laintiffs alleged negligence and breach of warranty based upon asbestos exposure sustained by dececdent during his work at various job sites through the Laborer’s Union from 1969-1990. Defendant New England Insulation Company (NEI) filed a motion for summary judgment based upon various theories, which the court denied. During his deposition, the decedent testified that he worked as a laborer for general contractors at job sites in Maine.  From 1973-1976 he worked at International Paper Mill around other trades, such as pipefitters and insulators. His…

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Court Affirms Summary Judgment in Part Regarding Turbines But Reverses in Part as to Switchgears by Same Manufacturer U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, September 13, 2016

The plaintiff brought his action on behalf of his decedent’s estate alleging that Howard Frankenberger developed lung cancer as a result of his work around asbestos containing insulation on turbines at various powerhouses in Illinois and Indiana. The turbines were alleged to have been manufactured by Westinghouse. Howard Frankenberger worked as a pipefitter at State Line Generating Station, Will County Generating Station, and Acme Steel from approximately 1953-1999. As for exposure, he was allegedly exposed to asbestos from turbines and switchgears. Expert testimony established that…

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Appeals Court finds No Conflict of Laws and Reverses Dismissal Based on Alaska Statute of Repose Court of Appeals of Washington, Division Two, August 9, 2016

Plaintiff Larry Hoffman filed suit in the Superior Court of Washington, Pierce County against numerous defendants alleging he developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos. Specifically, Hoffman is alleging take-home exposure from his father working as a welder for Ketchikan in Alaska in the 1950s and 1960s. Hoffman also alleges exposure from his own work at Ketchikan pulp mills in the 1960s and 1970s. Each mill featured steam turbines manufactured by General Electric (GE). Although it operated solely in Alaska, Ketchikan is a Washington corporation, having…

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Insulation Found to be Integral to Turbine as Court Grants Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment Based on Statute of Repose U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, July 21, 2016

The plaintiff brought this action against defendants, including Westinghouse, for Earl Norberg, her decedent’s, alleged development of lung cancer as a result of his work around asbestos containing products while working at the Joliet and Romeoville Power stations. The plaintiff’s fact witness was Mr. Norberg’s brother, Howard, who recalled that he and the plaintiff worked at Joliet Power Station from 1963-65 and again in the mid-1970s. Specifically, he testified that workers were insulating a turbine at Unit 9 while Units 7 and 8 were being…

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Boiler Manufacturers Obtain Summary Judgment Based on Statute of Repose Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland, May 27, 2016

In this case, the decedent, Ralph Vitale, alleged exposure to asbestos from the installation of Burnham and Weil-McLain residential boilers during the course of his work through his own HVAC and plumbing business between 1966 and 1979.  Defendants Burnham, LLC and Weil-McLain, a division of the Marley-Wylain Company, moved for summary judgment  on the basis that no cause of action accrued against them pursuant to Maryland’s statute of repose, codified at Sec. 5-108 of the Maryland Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings article. Maryland’s statute of…

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Dismissal of Third-Party Complaint Brought by City of Phoenix Against Contractors and Developers Upheld on Appeal Based Upon Statute of Repose Court of Appeals of Arizona, Division One, May 19, 2016

In 2013, Carlos Tarazon filed a lawsuit against the City of Phoenix, alleging that he developed mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure while performing pipe installation and other repairs for the city on projects that took place between 1968 and 1993. The city, in turn, filed a third-party complaint against the developers and contractors responsible for the planning, design and construction of the projects, seeking defense and indemnification pursuant to the construction contracts at issue and city ordinances incorporated within other development permits. The…

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Section 2 of the Indiana Product Liability Act Statute of Repose Found Unconstitutional Supreme Court of Indiana, March 2, 2016

In this federal court case, three appeals regarding the constitutionality of the Indiana product liability act statute of repose were consolidated for review. Several defendants moved for summary judgment based on the statute of repose in each of the cases with various results. The plaintiffs now argue that section 2 of the statute draws a constitutional impermissible distinction between asbestos plaintiffs who have claims against defendants who both mined and sold raw asbestos and asbestos and those asbestos plaintiffs that have claims against defendants that…

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Work Performed by Insulation Contractor was Maintenance, Not Improvement, to Real Property; Wisconsin Statue of Repose Did Not Bar Asbestos Claims U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, January 6, 2016

In a follow-up decision from yesterday’s report regarding the summary judgment granted to Foster Wheeler, Sprinkmann Sons Corporation also moved for summary judgment.  The Wisconsin federal court denied this motion. The decedent was a steamfitter; two co-workers testified regarding their work with the decedent at various industrial facilities. They overhauled turbines and tanks, and removed/installed insulation. Sprinkmann was an insulation contractor for at least two of these facilities and moved for summary judgment based on: (1) no evidence Decedent was exposed to Sprinkmann asbestos-containing products;…

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