Category Archives: Summary Judgment

Generic Expert Report Insufficient to Satisfy Summary Judgment Causation Standard Superior Court of Delaware, July 19, 2017

Plaintiff James Blair as the administer of the estate of Walter Godfrey, Jr. filed suit against defendant Cleaver-Brooks in the Superior Court of Delaware claiming that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from the defendant’s boilers and a result, was diagnosed and ultimately passed away from lung cancer. As the sole product identification witness, Walter Godfrey, Jr. testified to working with Cleaver-Brooks boilers at various locations between 1977 and 2013 while employed with Connecticut Boiler Repair. The defendant moved for summary judgment and argued, among…

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Exclusion of Plaintiffs’ Causation Experts Leads to Granting of Summary Judgment United States District Court, D. Maryland, July 17, 2017

Plaintiffs filed suit against Georgia Pacific (“GP”) and Union Carbide Corporation (“UCC”) alleging Mr. Rockman’s peritoneal mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos for which both Defendants were responsible. Specifically, Mr. Rockman claimed “bystander” exposure to GP’s Ready Mix joint compound that contained UCC’s Calidria chrysotile asbestos during residential renovations in 1965, 1973 and 1976. Plaintiff stated that he was exposed during his time living in a Brooklyn apartment when a ceiling was repaired in 1965, again in 1973 during wall repair in Baltimore, MD…

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Plaintiff Failure to Establish Retailer’s Knowledge of Danger of Asbestos Leads to Summary Judgment Superior Court of Delaware, July 12, 2017

Plaintiffs brought this suit against multiple defendants for Mr. Glaser’s alleged asbestos related injuries. Scott Glaser alleged that he was exposed to asbestos floor tile sold by Sears and Roebuck (“Sears”) while working for various employers. His work required him to clean up “scraps or pieces of floor tile off the floor.” Defendant took the position that it was a retailer and never “mined, milled, processed, or distributed wholesale asbestos containing products.” The Court noted that under Michigan law for a products liability action, a…

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Summary Judgment Denied Upon Showing that Defendant’s Boilers Contained Asbestos Gaskets and Rope Superior Court of Delaware, July 12, 2017

Plaintiff Clarence Dionne filed suit against several defendants including Cleaver Brooks alleging that he was exposed to asbestos while working at the Bay Area Medical Facility. Plaintiff alleged that he “scraped off the rope gaskets and supervised this task” on the doors of Defendant’s boilers. Not only did he personally perform this work but he also supervised others in the process. After a promotion in 1975, he took on the task of ordering replacement parts through his secretary. The replacement gaskets and insulation were supplied…

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Summary Judgment Granted upon Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Replacement Parts Supplied by Valve Defendant Superior Court of Delaware, July 12, 2017

Plaintiff brought this action against several defendants including Fairbanks Company alleging exposure to asbestos while working with Defendant’s valves. Specifically, Plaintiff recalled working with globe, gate and ball valves for various employers and locations. Plaintiff also testified that he replaced packing in the valves and personally removed external insulation to repair the valves. Plaintiff assumed that the packing he encountered contained asbestos based on the high heat application of the equipment. Fairbanks argued that no evidence pointed to it having made asbestos packing Plaintiff encountered.…

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Plaintiff Fails to Demonstrate Decedent Worked with Boiler Manufacture’s Product; Summary Judgment Granted Superior Court of Delaware, July 11, 2017

Dorothy Charbonneau filed suit in the Superior Court of Delaware against multiple defendants alleging the defendants’ use of asbestos caused her husband, Robert Charbonneau, to contract an asbestos related disease.  Mr. Charbonneau testified that he believed he was exposed to asbestos while maintaining and cleaning multiple boilers manufactured by Cleaver-Brooks throughout his employment career.  Mr. Charbonneau also testified that he removed a sectional boiler during employment with Smith Mechanical. He testified that the boiler may have been Cleaver-Brooks but stated that he believed this because…

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Wrongful Death Claims Barred by Res Judicata from Prior Loss of Consortium Case California Court of Appeal, July 11, 2017

In this wrongful death case, plaintiff Janet Stewart appealed the grant of summary judgment to Union Carbide that her loss of consortium claim was barred by res judicata. The plaintiff also argued a miscarriage of justice in the setoff of her deceased husband’s settlement with two asbestos bankruptcy trusts against her entire economic damage award. The court affirmed both rulings. Larry Stewart worked as a plumber from 1968-2007 when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He and his wife filed a personal injury lawsuit (Stewart I).…

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Summary Judgment Overturned as Lab Suppliers Found to Have Burden of Causation State of New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division Third Judicial Department, July 6, 2017

Plaintiff Eileen A. O’Connor was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma allegedly caused from exposure to equipment containing asbestos while working at a research lab from approximately 1975-79. The plaintiff filed suit in February 2015 against several defendants, including suppliers of various products used at this research lab. Supplier defendants moved for summary judgment arguing, among other things, that the plaintiffs failed to identify them as the suppliers of the asbestos-containing products in question. The Supreme Court granted the defendants’ motions dismissing the complaint against them, finding…

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Pfizer Not an “Apparent Manufacturer” of Refractory Products Used at Shipyard; Summary Judgment Affirmed Court of Appeals of Washington, June 26, 2017

Plaintiff Margaret Rublee appealed the summary judgment dismissal against defendant Pfizer, Inc. The decedent, Vernon Rublee, was a machinist at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 1965-1980 and died of mesothelioma in 2015. The appellate court affirmed summary judgment for Pfizer. While at the shipyard, he worked on steam turbines with asbestos lagging. In replacing the lagging they used two refractory products — Insulag and Panelag. Both the decedent and other workers testified as to seeing “Pfizer” on the bags. Quigley Company made the products,…

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Misidentification of Brake Manufacturer’s Name Sufficient for Summary Judgment Superior Court of Delaware, June 14, 2017

The plaintiffs filed suit in the Superior Court of Delaware claiming that Amanda Dullinger was secondarily exposed to Defendant Abex LLC’s asbestos containing brakes while she was a child causing her to develop mesothelioma. The plaintiff’s mother, Tammy Allen, was the plaintiffs’ primary product identification witness. Ms. Allen testified that Ms. Dullinger was present when automotive work was done between 1982 and 1986. Specifically, Ms. Dullinger testified that “Apex” brakes were one of the top three brands of brakes used around Ms. Dullinger. Further, she…

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