Category Archives: Washington

Plaintiff Awarded Attorneys’ Fees and Costs for Improper Removal U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, September 15, 2017

WASHINGTON — Plaintiff Barbadin filed suit against defendants including Scapa Dryer Fabrics and AstenJohnsten, Inc. (defendants) alleging exposure to asbestos containing products for which the defendants were responsible. Scapa removed the matter on April 17, 2017.  The plaintiff quickly moved for remand and sought fees and costs. The court noted that it had previously remanded this case one time. The court concluded that Scapa had taken “inconsistent positions in an effort to keep this action in federal court” and used “untenable arguments.” The court also…

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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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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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Raw Asbestos Supplier to Transite Pipe Manufacturer Not Subject to Personal Jurisdiction Supreme Court of the State of Washington, June 8, 2017

Plaintiff Donald Noll sued a number of manufacturers, sellers, and suppliers of asbestos and asbestos-containing products, including Special Electric. Noll alleged that he developed malignant mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos when he worked construction in Washington between 1977 and 1979 cutting asbestos-cement pipes. Those asbestos-cement pipes were manufactured by CertainTeed Corporation, and CertainTeed received most of its asbestos from Special Electric. Special Electric moved to dismiss on the basis that the trial court lacked specific personal jurisdiction over it because its contacts were limited to…

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Automotive Parts Manufacturer Granted Dismissal due to Lack of Personal Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, May 23, 2017

In another decision out of the Hodjera suit in the Western District of Washington, the motions to dismiss of Dana Companies, LLC and Dana Canada Corporation (the defendants), were granted based on lack of personal jurisdiction. Dana Companies is a Virginia corporation with its principal place of business in Ohio. Dana Canada is a Canadian corporation with its principal place of business in Ontario. The plaintiff alleged that he was exposed to asbestos in Toronto, Ontario, between 1986 and 1994. Neither company is registered to…

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Action Dismissed Against Canadian Automotive Defendant Based on Lack of Specific Jurisdiction U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, May 17, 2017

The plaintiffs filed suit against multiple defendants alleging Mr. Hodjera’s mesothelioma was caused by exposure to the defendants’ products from 1986-94. Volkswagen of Canada (VWGC) moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the court lacked personal jurisdiction. The court started its analysis by stating that due process requires the court to have personal jurisdiction over the defendant before it can adjudicate a claim. General jurisdiction is available when the defendant’s “contacts are so constant and pervasive as to render it essentially at home.” The court…

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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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Verdict Against Brand Insulation Upheld on Various Grounds, Including that General Negligence Duty of Care Recognized for Take Home Exposure Court of Appeals of Washington, January 23, 2017

The trial court found in favor of the plaintiff, finding Brand Insulation, Inc. liable for the mesothelioma suffered by Barbara Brandes due to secondary asbestos exposure from her husband’s work at ARCO. Brand appealed, and the plaintiff appealed the remittitur reducing the damages award from $3.5 million to $2.5 million. The court affirmed the verdict and reversed the remittitur. Brand was an insulation subcontractor during construction of the ARCO Cherry Point Refinery. At first Brand installed asbestos-free insulation, but later switched to asbestos insulation due…

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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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Decedent’s Failure to Bring Personal Injury Claims for Known Asbestos Injuries Within Statute of Limitations Period During His Lifetime Barred Wrongful Death Suit Washington Court of Appeals, Division One, November 23, 2015

The decedent died of several asbestos related diseases in 2011; he was diagnosed with these diseases in 2003. The plaintiff brought a wrongful death claim against manufacturers and distributors of asbestos containing products, and the defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff could not bring a wrongful death claim because the decedent failed to bring a personal injury claim within three years of discovering his asbestos-related diseases. The trial court granted summary judgment, and the appellate court affirmed. The plaintiff argued that a…

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