Honeywell Files Suit Against NARCO Asbestos Trust for Mismanagement of Funds

Honeywell International, Inc. has filed a claim in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against the North American Refractories Co. asbestos victims trust. In the lawsuit, Honeywell alleges the fund’s managers are wrongly paying claimants who allege they have suffered injuries related to asbestos exposure.

The lawsuit follows several years of disputes between Honeywell and the trust, which was established to resolve the bankruptcy of Honeywell’s former affiliate, North American Refractories Co. (NARCO). Honeywell owned NARCO from about 1979 to 1986. …

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$26.54 Million Verdict in Wrongful Death Case against Brewing Company

Milwaukee County Circuit Court

The decedent, Gerald “Jerry” Lorbiecki, was a steamfitter who worked at a number of job sites over the better part of four decades prior to his death from mesothelioma. Attorneys for the decedent argued that two of these locations—Pabst Brewing Co. and Wisconsin Electric—were “negligent in protecting employees from asbestos exposure and violated Wisconsin’s Safe Place Act.” Wisconsin Electric settled with Mr. Lorbiecki’s estate prior to trial.

In closing arguments, lawyers for Pabst argued that company safety officials were unaware of …

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$4.4 Million Verdict Affirmed in Asbestos Bowling Ball Trial

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 8

The decedent, Donald Vanni, and his brother co-owned and operated Arcata Bowl bowling alley in California from 1957 to 1986. During this time, one of the decedent’s duties was to drill custom-fit finger holes in asbestos-containing bowling balls sold by Arcata Bowl. A press release issued by the Vanni family’s legal team stated, in part: “Asbestos, used as a filler in plastic Ebonite bowling balls, was supplied by Honeywell [International Inc.] in the form of discarded brake …

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Federal Officer Removal Upheld in Secondary Exposure Case

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, October 18, 2021

The plaintiff, Reginald A. Hamilton, Jr., alleged that as a child in the 1960s and 1970s he frequented his grandmother’s restaurant, the Rail Restaurant, which was walking distance from Avondale’s Main Yard, and thus was often patronized by Avondale Shipyard workers, contractors, and employees, and by military personnel. Mr. Hamilton alleged that throughout this time, he was exposed daily (or near daily) to asbestos dust brought into the restaurant by these patrons, and …

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Johnson & Johnson’s Indirect Subsidiary Seeks Chapter 11 Protection and Establishment of Trust Relating to Cosmetic Talc Claims

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina, October 14, 2021

On October 14, 2021, LTL Management LLC, an indirect subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, filed papers in connection with pursuing Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division. According to its informational brief, LTL Management seeks to “resolve permanently all mass tort claims relating to its cosmetic talc products in a manner that is efficient and equitable to all parties, including current …

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Case Transferred due to Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Over Successor Corporation

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, October 1, 2021

In this matter, plaintiff Timothy Murphy sued defendant Viad Corporation for damages resulting from his asbestosis diagnosis. The plaintiff alleges exposure to asbestos from his operation and maintenance of two freshwater distilling plants while he served aboard the USS Frank E. Evans in the U.S. Navy. At that time, he was stationed at the U.S. Naval Station in Long Beach, California. The distilling plants at issue were manufactured, distributed, and sold …

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Railroad Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment Granted on Lack of Causation

U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, September 29, 2021

In this asbestos action, plaintiff James Lancaster claimed that his lung cancer was caused, in part, by exposure to asbestos during the course of his 33-year career as a railroad track foreman. The defendant, BNSF Railway Company, pointed instead to the plaintiff’s extensive history of smoking cigarettes. In addition, BNSF argued that the plaintiff could not establish causation because the expert reports provided by the plaintiff were inadmissible. For these reasons, BNSF filed a …

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Summary Judgment Granted, Court Requires Proof of “Significant” Exposure

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

Plaintiff Krutz filed suit inLouisiana state court on April 29, 2020, against a number of defendants, including Amchem, as a result of his alleged asbestos exposures. The case was removed to federal court on June 15, 2020. On Nov. 9, 2020, Krutz died, allegedly as a result of mesothelioma. During his deposition, Krutz testified that he began working for the Avondale Shipyard in 1968 as an interior communications electrician. He testified that during his forty-year career …

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Court Compels Discovery from Non-Testifying Expert Finding Exceptional Circumstances Under Rule 26

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, September 27, 2021

Plaintiff Laura M. Walls filed a products liability action on behalf of the estate of her husband, Robie W. Walls (decedent). The plaintiff alleged that defendant Pneumo Abex LLC, among others, manufactured, sold, and/or distributed asbestos-containing products or raw asbestos materials for use in North Carolina and other states at times relevant to this action, and the decedent’s exposure to such products caused him to develop mesothelioma, resulting in his death on …

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Mask Manufacturer Defendant Successful on Summary Judgment

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, September 10, 2021

Decedent James LaFrentz was employed by General Dynamics Corporation from 1978 to 1984 at the Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas, as a drill press operator and a machinist. The complaint, filed by the plaintiffs in 2018 on behalf of the decedent, claimed that while performing his job, LaFrentz was exposed to asbestos which caused his mesothelioma. The plaintiffs alleged the 3M dust mask (the 8710 Respirator) the decedent …

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