Category Archives: Summary Judgment

Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment on Failure to Warn Claims U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, April 4, 2017

Plaintiff Gail Hart, executor of the estate of the decedent Alva Coykendall (the plaintiff), filed suit alleging that her husband worked with a substantial amount of asbestos-containing brake and clutch friction materials manufactured by various defendants. Prior to his death, Coykendall was deposed and testified that he did work as an uncertified mechanic from approximately 1972 through 2014. Coykendall further specified he performed work on brakes and clutches which included exposure to brake dust when working on vehicles that did not require a full brake…

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Required Use of Asbestos Products for Proper Functioning of Steam Turbines Created Genuine Issue of Material Fact Regarding Duty to Warn Court of Appeals of Washington, April 3, 2017

The decedent served in the Navy from 1943-46 and served as a machinist on the USS George K. MacKenzie during World War II. After the war, he joined the Military Sea Transportation Service and worked as an engineer until 1952. His representatives filed a wrongful death lawsuit after he died from mesothelioma, suing, among others, General Electric. The trial court granted GE’s motion for summary judgment, and the appellate court reversed. GE designed, manufactured, and supplied the steam turbines that were on board the decedent’s…

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Plaintiff’s Assertion of the Mere Possibility of Exposure Insufficient to Create a Triable Issue of Fact for Summary Judgment Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, Division One, March 30, 2017

The plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants, including Moore Drydock, alleging he developed mesothelioma as a result of his work onboard the USS Carter Hall. The plaintiff further alleged that defendant Moore Drydock built the USS Carter Hall. Specific sources of exposures alleged by the plaintiff included gaskets, packing, and pipe insulation. The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that no issue of fact existed. The plaintiff opposed and took the position that the declaration of its insulation expert, Charles Ay, offered the fact that…

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Plaintiff’s Objections to Magistrate’s Recommendation for Granting Summary Judgment Overruled U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, March 31, 2017

The plaintiff filed objections to the Magistrate’s recommendation for granting summary judgment, arguing that his expert’s affidavit was enough to create an issue as to material fact. The court began its analysis and stated that its review of objections to a magistrate’s decision are de novo. The issue at heart was the plaintiff’s reliance on the Boyd case to support his claim that the affidavit of his expert, Captain Bulger, established an issue of fact. The court found that the affidavit only “bolstered” was had…

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Plaintiffs Survive Summary Judgment as to Turbine and Valve Defendants; Fail to Establish Exposure to Other Equipment Defendant U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, March 31, 2017

The defendants moved for summary judgment arguing that the plaintiff, Paul Paquin, had not established that he was exposed to any asbestos containing product for which the defendants were responsible. The court launched into its analysis with the standard for summary judgment and stated that summary judgment is not appropriate unless “the court determines that there is no genuine issue of material fact to be tried and that the facts as to which there is no such issue warrant judgment.” The parties disputed whether maritime…

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Summary Judgment Recommended for Turbine and Valve Defendants in Mesothelioma Case U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, March 30, 2017

The plaintiff’s executrix brought this claim against multiple defendants alleging that her decedent, Mr. Denbow, developed mesothelioma as a result of his work in the U.S. Navy onboard the USS New Jersey from 1954-57 and while working at Koppers Chemical from 1965-70. The plaintiff relied upon the testimony of product identification witness Charles Ricker. Although not sure when he met Mr. Denbow, he testified that he met him while working as a machinist mate in engine room Nos. 2 and 4 during his stint on…

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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 plaintiffs alleged negligence and breach of warranty based upon asbestos exposure sustained by decedent 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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Summary Judgment Granted to Valve Manufacturer Based on Insufficient Evidence of Exposure Superior Court of Rhode Island, March 13, 2017

The plaintiff filed suit in the Superior Court of Rhode Island, Providence for personal injuries and wrongful death alleging plaintiff’s decedent use of asbestos products with defendant’s valves were foreseeable to the defendant and, under a negligence theory, the defendant failed to warn of the associated hazards. The defendant moved for summary judgment under Maine Law, to which both parties agreed upon, on November 16, 2016, and argued that the plaintiff failed to offer, and have no reasonable expectation of offering any evidence that plaintiff’s…

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Collateral Estoppel Applied to Bar Second Asbestos Case Against Crane by Same Plaintiff U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, March 8, 2017

The decedent, a civilian employee for the United States Navy from 1958-1964, died from mesothelioma. Prior to passing he brought suit in St. Louis City, Missouri, in December 2015, which the defendants removed to federal court. His representatives continued the suit after he passed. Defendant Crane Co. filed a motion to dismiss based upon collateral estoppel. The court granted this motion. In December 2009, the decedent brought an action against Crane and others in Massachusetts based upon asbestosis. Crane filed a motion for summary judgment…

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