Jurisdictions Remain Split on Existence of Liability and Scope of Same in Secondary Exposure Cases

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana recently issued a decision holding that an employer or premises owner, in a negligence claim, may owe a duty of care to a plaintiff who alleges exposure to asbestos from coming into contact with that employer’s or premises owner’s employees at an offsite location. In Hernandez v. Huntington Ingalls, Inc., the plaintiff, Jesse Hernandez, alleged he was exposed to asbestos from working at a family grocery store and deli that was frequented by employees …

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Motion for Summary Judgment Denied for Fireproofing Contractor at World Trade Center

Supreme Court of New York, New York County

The plaintiff alleged that Arthur Shanahan (the decedent) was exposed to asbestos while employed as a carpenter at various commercial, residential, and industrial sites in Manhattan from approximately 1982 to 2016. During this time, the decedent worked at the World Trade Center framing walls where it is alleged he removed asbestos-containing fireproofing spray that had been previously applied on the ceilings. He removed the fireproofing spray with a claw hammer and then swept the dust off the …

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Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand on Timeliness of Defendant’s Removal on Federal Officer Jurisdiction Denied

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

Plaintiff H. Francis alleged he was diagnosed with lung cancer as a result of his work as a rod clerk for Avondale Shipyards from 1973 to 1974. Mr. Francis was deposed on January 21, 2020 regarding these allegations, and Avondale received his deposition transcript on February 4, 2020. On March 24, 2020, Avondale filed a Notice of Removal, seeking to remove the case from Louisiana State court to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District …

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Appeal Dismissed as Interlocutory Since Entry of Judgment Still Pending

Supreme Court of Delaware, May 22, 2020

After a jury trial found in favor of the plaintiff in this asbestos matter, defendant Ford Motor Co. filed a motion for a new trial or in the alternative for remittitur. The trial court denied Ford’s motion. Thereafter, the plaintiff filed a motion for entry of judgment, seeking the award of pre- and post-judgment interest under New Mexico law. While the plaintiff’s motion was pending, Ford filed a notice of appeal from the court’s March 3, 2020 Order …

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No Actionable Asbestos Exposure Attributed to Electrical and Contractor Defendants

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, May 21, 2020

Plaintiffs Larry and Anne Woolard filed the instant lawsuit against 14 separate defendants, alleging that exposure to their asbestos-containing products and equipment while Mr. Woolard worked as an HVAC apprentice, mechanic, and supervisor at Weyerhaeuser Paper Mill caused him to develop mesothelioma. After the close of discovery, four defendants filed for Summary Judgment: Fisher Controls International, LLC; Schneider Electric Systems, USA, Inc.; Chicago Bridge and Iron Company; and Chicago Bridge and Iron …

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Motion to Remand Denied Based Upon Two Sources of Federal Jurisdiction

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, May 20, 2020

This case was initially filed by the plaintiff in Louisiana state court. The plaintiff alleged that Louis Elie, Jr. (the decedent) contracted and died from lung cancer as a result of his exposure to asbestos, while working as a laborer for Sperry Rand Corp. at the Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant (LAAP) from 1967 to 1974. Defendant Unisys Corp. (successor in interest to Sperry Rand Corp.) removed this action to federal court. The plaintiff …

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Pump Manufacturer’s Partial Motion for Summary Judgment Denied Under Jones Act

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

The plaintiffs alleged that James T. McAllister (the decedent) was exposed to asbestos while working as a machinist mate aboard various vessels while serving in the United States Navy. The plaintiffs claim the decedent was exposed to asbestos from a variety of products including pumps manufactured by Nash while working in engine rooms on submarines. The decedent passed away from mesothelioma and his surviving spouse and sons seek damages for the decedent’s pre-death pain and suffering, …

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North Carolina District Court Grants Summary Judgment to Six Defendants on Causation Grounds

The plaintiffs alleged that the decedent, James T. Whitehead, was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of his alleged exposures to asbestos from working with and around a myriad of products and equipment over the course of his career as a sheet metal and maintenance mechanic. Mr. Whitehead was not deposed prior to his death, so the plaintiffs intended to rely primarily on testimony from individuals who worked alongside him in order to identify the products and equipment to which he was allegedly exposed. The …

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Louisiana District Court Denies Motion for a More Definite Statement in Negligence Case Against Premises Owner in Third-Party Exposure Case

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

The U.S. States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana issued another decision in the Hernandez v. Huntington Ingalls matter, involving claims of negligence against a premises owner on behalf of a third-party. As previously reported here, the plaintiff, Jesse Hernandez, alleged he was exposed to asbestos from, among other things, working at a family grocery store and deli from 1957 to 1966, where plant workers from a nearby Allied Chemical plant frequented for …

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Shipyard Owner’s Removal Deemed Timely Under Recent Fifth Circuit Decision

Plaintiff Robert Bourgeois II originally filed his lawsuit in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana, alleging his exposure while employed at Avondale Shipyards caused him to develop mesothelioma. Defendant Avondale removed the case to the Eastern District of Louisiana; in response, the plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Remand.

The plaintiff asserted four arguments as to why remand is proper:

  1. Removal was untimely because Avondale learned of the case’s potentially removability when it received the transcript of Plaintiff’s May
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