Category Archives: Summary Judgment

Court Denies Partial Motion for Summary Judgment on Punitive Damages Against John Crane While Granting Full Summary Judgment for Other Defendants U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, August 30, 2017

Icom Henry Evans and Johanna Elaine Evans filed an asbestos related personal injury action in the Delaware Superior Court against multiple defendants on June 11, 2015, asserting injuries arising from Mr. Evans’ alleged harmful exposure to asbestos. Defendant John Crane filed a partial motion for summary judgment as to the plaintiffs’ punitive damages claim. John Crane admits to having knowledge of the hazards of asbestos by 1970. However, the parties dispute whether John Crane had knowledge of the hazards of asbestos before 1970. The parties…

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Summary Judgment Granted to Premises Owner Because Asbestos Not Inherent on the Premise Superior Court of Delaware, August 30, 2017

Plaintiff Sandra Kivell alleged her husband developed and died from mesothelioma due to his asbestos exposure as a union pipefitter and welder.  Defendant Union Carbide moved for summary judgment, which was granted. Union Carbide was a premises owner of a petrochemical facility in Taft, Louisiana, where decedent worked from January 1967-October 1969.  Decedent did not work for and did not receive instruction from Union Carbide, which employed third-party contractors to build process units.  Decedent testified he ran pipe and worked side by side with insulators.  …

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Brake Manufacturer’s Motion for Summary Judgment Granted Based on Statute of Limitations Superior Court of Delaware, August 29, 2017

The plaintiff brought suit in Delaware contending that David Bagwell contracted lung cancer from Pneumo Abex’s products. Bagwell was diagnosed in May 2009 and passed away from cancer on January 28, 2010. Plaintiff contacted an attorney regarding this matter in August or 2012. This matter was ultimately filed on June 2, 2014. Under South Carolina law, the defendant argues that the plaintiff’s case must be dismissed because wrongful death claims must be filed within three years of the date of the decedent’s death. However, Delaware…

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Summary Judgment Upheld for Georgia Pacific Because Proof Didn’t Distinguish Between Asbestos and Non-Asbestos Product Superior Court of Delaware, August 18, 2017

Defendant Georgia Pacific was granted partial summary judgment, in that all claims against the defendant “pre-1973” were barred. The plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration arguing that the court overlooked the fact that the defendant stopped distributing asbestos joint compound in September 1973. In response to the plaintiff’s motion, the defendant argued that the court properly granted partial summary judgment relating to the plaintiff’s pre-1973 claims as the decision was based on a Stigliano analysis, which states “ when the record reveals that a defendant…

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Summary Judgment Granted For Plaintiff’s Failure to File Complaint Within the Statute of Limitations Superior Court of Delaware, August 18, 2017

Ms. Bagwell filed suit against several defendants, alleging her husband developed lung cancer from asbestos related to Borg Warner clutches. The plaintiff’s brother was the sole fact witness who recalled his brother performing clutch work starting in 1965 through the 1980s approximately one time per week. The plaintiff’s expert report stated that the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos containing products including exposure to asbestos from the clutches. Mr. Bagwell was diagnosed in May of 2009 and passed away on January 28, 2010. The plaintiff’s complaint…

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Pump Manufacturer Obtains Summary Judgment Based on Lack of Maintenance History and Identification of Replacement Parts Superior Court of Delaware, August 18, 2017

Plaintiff Jill Dudley alleged that her husband Frank worked on pumps from 1966-67 while employed at Cam Chemical Company in Detroit, Michigan. Defendant FMC moved for summary judgment, which the court granted. Frank Dudley testified that at least ten pumps were made by Chicago Pump; he broke down these pumps and repaired the gaskets. The court applied Michigan law, which required proof that the injured plaintiff was exposed to an asbestos-containing product for which a defendant was responsible. Michigan law also applied the substantial factor…

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Pipe Manufacturer’s Evidence Not Enough Under Causation Standard for pre-1982 claims; Summary Judgment Denied Superior Court of Delaware, August 17, 2017

The plaintiffs filed an action in the Superior Court of Delaware against defendant CertainTeed Corporation alleging that the plaintiff, Jack Trousdale, was exposed to asbestos from CertainTeed’s products. The plaintiffs contend that Mr. Trousdale purchased a flat-bed tractor trailer in 1972 to work as an independent truck driver, and as part of his job Mr. Trousdale shipped CertainTeed pipe. The plaintiffs presented evidence that the defendant sold asbestos-cement pipe from Ambler, Pennsylvania from 1962 through 1982. CertainTeed filed a motion for summary judgment. The court…

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Friction Defendants Granted Summary Judgment on the Issue of Causation Supreme Court of New York, Nassau County, August 2, 2017

On August, 2, 2017, Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Julianne Capetola granted various defendants’ motion to renew and re-argue the court’s prior denial of the defendants’ combined Frye/summary judgment motions as to the issue of causation. Upon renewal, the court granted summary judgment to the defendants. By way of background, plaintiffs Giulio Novello and Rosaria Novello brought suit in the Nassau County Supreme Court seeking damages for personal injuries against various automotive-related defendants. The plaintiffs contended that Novello’s lung cancer diagnosis was causally related…

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Brake and Talc Supplier Successfully Move to Dismiss on Lack of Personal Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, July 31, 2017

Following up on prior ACT posts as to the Hodjera suit out of the Western District of Washington, the court granted motions for summary judgment filed by defendants Honeywell International  and Imerys Talc America Inc. under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c) for lack of personal jurisdiction. The court reiterated that due process requires a district court to have personal jurisdiction over a defendant in order to adjudicate a claim against it. Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S. Ct. 746, 753 (2014).  Further, the plaintiffs…

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Various Product Manufacturers Granted Summary Judgment Under Maritime and Oregon Law U.S. District Court, District of Delaware, July 21, 2017

Harold and Judy Haynes filed this asbestos related personal injury action in the Delaware Superior Court against multiple defendants on June 3, 2016, asserting claims arising from Mr. Haynes’ alleged harmful exposure to asbestos. Defendant Crane Co. removed the action to U.S. District Court in Delaware on July 15, 2016. Defendants Aurora, Warren Pumps, Pfizer, FMC, Honeywell, BorgWarner, and Air & Liquid filed motions for summary judgment on March 24, 2017.The plaintiffs did not respond to these motions. Counsel for the defendants sent letters to…

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