Category Archives: Wisconsin

Various Rulings Issued on Motions in Limine in Trial; Plaintiffs’ Motion to Exclude Defense Experts Denied U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, July 7, 2017

The court issued various rulings on motions in limine filed by both the plaintiffs and defendant John Crane in this matter that is set for trial on July 17, 2017. The decedent died of mesothelioma. Many of the motions were unopposed. Below are summaries of the more pertinent rulings. Regarding the plaintiff’s motions, the plaintiff argued that the defendant should be barred from disclosing that some corporations were in bankruptcy. The defendants opposed the motion because under Wisconsin law, any claims plaintiffs have submitted to…

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Plaintiff’s Mesothelioma Claims Barred by Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act

In a consolidated matter, three of the plaintiffs, Diane Jacobs, Katrina Masephol, and Janice Seehar (the Weyerhaeuser plaintiffs), filed claims against various defendants after developing mesothelioma.  Each had worked for Weyerhaeuser for years in close contact with asbestos.  As such, in order to get around Wisconsin’s Workers Compensation Act, Wis. Stat. § 102.03(2), which provides the “exclusive remedy against the employer” for work-related injuries, the plaintiffs argued that their asbestos-related injuries were not caused on the job, but at home and in the community, and…

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Summary Judgments Based on Wisconsin Safe Place Statute and Statute of Repose Denied U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, May 15, 2017

The court issued another decision in a case originally reported in Asbestos Case Tracker on May 15, 2017. Plaintiffs Daniel and Beverly Ahnert originally filed a case in 2010 alleging Daniel Ahnert developed asbestosis; that case was transferred to the MDL of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In 2013 Beverly Ahnert filed a new case in the Eastern District of Wisconsin after Daniel Ahnert died of asbestos-related diseases. In September 2014, the 2011 case was remanded back to Wisconsin. The plaintiff then moved to consolidate…

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Decedent’s Work Falls Outside Wisconsin’s Statute of Repose; Summary Judgment Denied U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, May 11, 2017

This matter stems from a series of filings. In 2010, plaintiffs Daniel and Beverly Ahnert filed an asbestosis claim on February 25, 2010. That case was transferred to Multidistrict Litigation in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Two and a half years later, Beverly Ahnert, as the executrix of the estate of Danial Ahnert, filed a new complaint in the Easter District of Wisconsin alleging that Daniel Ahnert passed away as a result of an asbestos related disease. This matter deals with defendant Sprinkmann Sons, Inc.…

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Bare Metal Defense Rebuts Plaintiffs’ Causation Argument for Majority of Industrial Equipment Manufactures U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, April 12, 2017

Patricia Carroll, as special administrator of Ronald Carroll’s estate, sued numerous manufacturers of industrial equipment in which asbestos replacement parts were used, manufacturers of asbestos, or both in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. The claims against the defendants arise from the time Mr. Carroll spent working at Wisconsin Power & Light (WP&L) from 1959 to 1974. Mr. Carroll worked in a variety of different jobs WP&L’s plants during that period of time, including plant helper, auxiliary equipment operator, and boiler operator.…

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Judgment in Favor of Insulation Manufacturer due to Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Insulation Caused Pipe Insulator’s Mesothelioma U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, September 30, 2016

The plaintiff alleged her decedent, Oswald Suoja died from mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos from Kaylo pipe insulation after working as a pipe insulator at Badger Ordance Works in Wisconsin. The case was transferred to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for pretrial proceedings. The plaintiff specifically alleged that Mr. Suoja had been exposed to a pipe covering product made by Owens-Illinois called “Kaylo” while working as a career asbestos insulation worker. It was also alleged in his bankruptcy trust submissions and…

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Summary Judgment Reversed Where Court Finds Genuine Dispute as to Fraudulent Transfer of Assets Court of Appeals of Wisconsin, District Four, June 23, 2016

The plaintiff filed this personal injury lawsuit under theories of negligence and strict liability following the death of her husband from mesothelioma. The plaintiff maintained that her husband was exposed to asbestos-containing products allegedly manufactured and/or sold by Fire Brick Engineers Company, Inc. (FBE Company) from approximately 1963-69. In approximately 1983, Fire Brick Engineers Corporation (FBE Corporation), whose investors included attorneys who had previously represented FBE Company, purchased the assets of FBE Company and eventually changed its name to Fire Brick Engineers Company, Inc. In…

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U.S. District Court Denies Plaintiffs’ Motion for Reconsideration on Grant of Summary Judgment as to Daubert Challenge, Worker’s Compensation Exclusivity, and Public Nuisance Claim U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, May 5, 2016

The plaintiffs brought a motion for reconsideration for the court’s decision to grant partial summary judgment as to the defendant Weyerhauser’s motion as to its Daubert challenge, The plaintiffs’ claims for Worker’s Compensation Exclusivity and public nuisance claim. The court stated that Rule 56 does not provide for a motion for reconsideration but permits a motion to alter judgment. However, the standard requires the movant to show a “manifest error” in judgment or that newly discovered evidence is available. The court noted that the rule…

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Federal Court Applies Bare Metals Defense in Finding Boiler Manufacturer Not Liable for Asbestos Supplied by Third Parties U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, March 10, 2016

After the plaintiff’s husband died from lung cancer, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit alleging strict liability and negligence due to asbestos exposure from his work insulating and maintaining boilers. It was transferred to the Pennsylvania MDL, then remanded back to Wisconsin federal court. Defendant Trane U.S., Inc. then moved for summary judgment, arguing: (1) it did not assume the liabilities of American Standard, and (2) American Standard did not manufacture, distribute or specify the asbestos materials that caused decedent’s injuries. The court granted the motion…

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Mixed Rulings on Daubert Challenges and Motions for Summary Judgment by Employer on Employees’ Non-Occupational Asbestos Exposure Claims U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, February 19, 2016

In this decision, there were eight separate actions against Weyerhaeuser Company involving private and public nuisance claims brought by, or on the behalf of, former employees of Weyerhaeuser for asbestos-related injuries based on non-occupational exposure. Weyerhaeuser used asbestos in its mineral core plant to manufacture a door core. The plaintiffs non-occupational exposure claims were based on their living, or being, in close proximity to the plant. Weyerhaeuser “moved to strike plaintiffs’ experts and for summary judgment, arguing that plaintiffs are unable to prove injuries beyond…

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