The end of 2022 saw a number of changes to the asbestos bankruptcy trusts, including site list updates to half of the trusts that saw changes during this time. As the Asbestos Case Tracker previously reported, the trend of trusts decreasing their percentage payments continued in the fourth quarter of 2022, with three more trusts doing so. Most notably, the Owens-Illinois Asbestos Personal Injury Trust was formed in 2022 as a result of the bankruptcy of Paddock Enterprises, LLC and its wholly owned subsidiaries to …Continue Reading
District Court Denies Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand despite Dismissal of Defendant that Formed the Basis of Federal Jurisdiction
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
As previously reported on Asbestos Case Tracker, this matter involves Plaintiff Frank P. Ragusa, who filed an action against various defendants in state court alleging occupational asbestos exposure at the Avondale Shipyards, among other facilities, where he worked as a crane operator from 1973 through 2017. On October 26, 2021, this case was removed to district court pursuant to the federal officer removal statute. The plaintiff has now reinstated a motion to remand to state court. …Continue Reading
Exclusion of Dr. Staggs’ Specific Causation Opinion Entitles Automotive Defendant to Summary Judgment
Court: United States District Court for the District of Utah
This case arises out of decedent John C. Riegler’s diagnosis of mesothelioma, which plaintiff alleges stems from decedent’s work at a service station, including the performance of brake services. Plaintiff alleges defendants’ automotive-friction products exposed decedent to asbestos and caused his mesothelioma. Before the court are three motions to exclude expert testimony and one motion for summary judgment.
Plaintiff designated industrial hygienist William M. Ewing as an expert in this matter. In his expert report, …Continue Reading
Shipyard Defendant Granted Partial Summary Judgment on Plaintiff’s Non-Employee Exposure Claims
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
From 1972 to 1975, plaintiff Frank P. Ragusa Jr. operated a cherry picker at Avondale Shipyards as an employee of Huntington Ingalls, Inc. He then worked at Avondale for a second stint in the late 1980s as a Pauline Management (JP & Sons) employee. The plaintiff received a mesothelioma diagnosis and filed suit in July 2021, alleging asbestos exposure from the friction materials present inside the cranes he operated in 1989.
Avondale Shipyards moved for …Continue Reading
Engine Company’s Motion to Renew Summary Judgment on Causation Grounds Denied
Supreme Court of New York, Nassau County
Defendant Perkins Engine, Inc. moved to renew a court order denying its motion for summary judgment. A motion for leave to renew or reargue is based on new facts not offered on the prior motion that would change the prior determination, and reasonable justification for the failure to present such facts on the prior motion.
The court had denied Perkins’ motion, finding that it failed to meet its initial burden on summary judgment by including expert support. That …Continue Reading
Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment under Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Granted
Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
Plaintiff Frank P. Ragusa Jr. filed an asbestos-related lawsuit in Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans alleging he was exposed to asbestos in 1972, and from 1975 to 1976, while working at the Avondale Shipyard. He alleged that as a result of his occupational exposure to asbestos he developed mesothelioma.
Defendant Avondale moved for summary judgment, seeking dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims as barred and preempted by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ …Continue Reading
Joint Compound Defendant Post-Trial Motions Denied
Court: Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York
In this asbestos action, Munir Seen alleged he developed mesothelioma from asbestos exposure from various products, including joint compound from defendant Kaiser. The plaintiff’s experts included Drs. Jacqueline Moline and David Rosner. In June 2022, a jury awarded the plaintiff $15 million and allocated 70 percent of the fault to Kaiser. Following the trial, Kaiser moved for three forms of post-trial relief. Ultimately, the court denied Kaiser’s motions in their entirety.
Kaiser …Continue Reading
Dryer Felt Manufacturer’s Judgment Upheld on Appeal
Court: Court of Appeals of Washington, Division One
In this asbestos action, decedent Kevin Holdsworth worked at a paper mill in Camas, Washington from 1964 to 2001. He alleged exposure to asbestos from several sources during his employment, including from his role on the paper machine cleanup crew which required him to “blow down” every paper machine at the Camas mill.
Holdsworth also alleged exposure to asbestos from his role in the maintenance department at the Camas mill, where he frequently used a hammer to …Continue Reading
Boiler Manufacturer Partial Motions for Summary Judgment on Punitive Damages Denied
Court: Supreme Court of New York, New York County (NYCAL)
In these asbestos actions, defendant Burnham LLC moved for partial summary judgment seeking the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ punitive damage claims, arguing the plaintiffs failed to establish that Burnham’s conduct rose to the level of egregious and morally culpable conduct necessary for the award of punitive damages.
In the first matter, plaintiff Frank Passanisi worked as a painter from 1966 to 1986. He alleged exposure to asbestos from Burnham boilers from performing work on …Continue Reading
Lack of Causation Entitles Valve/Gasket Defendants to Summary Judgment
Court: United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
This case arises out of the death of decedent Thomas Deem from mesothelioma, which the plaintiff alleges was caused by the decedent’s exposure to asbestos through his work as a machinist at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The court previously dismissed the plaintiff’s claims against numerous defendants, and only three defendants remain, each of whom has motions for summary judgment pending before the court.
Each remaining defendant’s primary defense to the plaintiff’s claims is …Continue Reading
Plaintiff’s Failure to Timely Amend Complaint Results in Court Dismissing Second Filed Complaint
Court: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
In 2016, plaintiff Richard Nybeck sued various product manufacturers in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, alleging he developed lung cancer after his occupational exposure to asbestos. Thereafter, the defendants removed the case to federal court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1442(a)(1) and 1446.
The plaintiff initially filed a “short form” complaint which incorporated a master long form complaint by reference, instead of laying out defendant-specific facts and allegations. After the case was removed to federal court, …Continue Reading