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Asbestos Damages in the Maritime Sphere

The shipping industry is an extensive and foundational mode of global transportation and resource distribution. The men and women who work aboard the U.S. fleet are routinely exposed to varying types of cargo, machinery, and unfortunately, a vast array of harmful materials such as asbestos. According to the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, asbestos can still be found in over 65 percent of vessels, including 50 percent of all new-builds despite it being a banned material in shipbuilding since July 2002. It is estimated that a commercial …

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Appellate Court Reverses Premise Defendant’s Summary Judgment Ruling

Court:  Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District, Houston

Carolyn and Frank Burford were married from November 1962 until Carolyn’s death in 2015. While married, Frank Buford worked for Alcoa at its aluminum smelter in Rockdale, Texas. As a potlining helper, Mr. Burford regularly worked with and around asbestos-containing materials.  Mrs. Burford (Carolyn, or decedent) washed his work clothing every day for a period of 25 years. In 2006, she sought medical care after developing shortness of breath. Her pulmonologist diagnosed her with asbestosis and she later died …

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Appellate Court Affirms Finding of Liability against Talc Defendant; Vacates Apportionment of Liability

Court: Superior Court of Pennsylvania

In this asbestos action, appellant American International Industries (AII) appealed from a judgment entered in December 2022 awarding damages to appellee, Holly Fisher, executrix of the Estate of Sandra Reichart (decedent), following a jury trial.

Decedent owned a beauty salon from 1960 through 1985. During that time, decedent allegedly used the following talcum powders on clients: Clubman, Jeris, Jean Nate, and Cashmere Bouquet. Following decedent’s passing from mesothelioma in 2019, Fisher field a lawsuit claiming that the aforementioned talcum powders …

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Defense Verdict in Retrial of Packing Manufacturer

Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco

Plaintiff Lisa Castillo filed an action in the San Francisco, California Superior Court alleging that her husband, Abraham Castillo, died of mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos during his service in the United States Navy in the 1980s and later employment as a refrigeration mechanic from 1983 to 2013. The case proceeded to trial against John Crane, Inc. on theories of negligence and design defect. The plaintiff alleged that John Crane supplied asbestos-containing packing …

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Summary Judgment Granted to Oven Manufacturer on Causation in NYCAL

Court: Supreme Court of New York, New York County

In this action, plaintiff June Savianeso alleges that decedent Michael Savianeso was exposed to asbestos from the products of various defendants.

Decedent passed away without giving deposition testimony. Subsequently, decedent’s brother, James, provided seven days of testimony. As pertinent to this motion, James testified that he worked as a pizza maker at a pizzeria in New Jersey for approximately 30 hours per week from June to August during the summers of 1976 and 1977. James mainly …

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Boiler Manufacturer’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment re: Punitive Damages Denied

Supreme Court of New York, New York County

In this asbestos action, defendant Burnham, LLC moved for partial summary judgment to dismiss the plaintiff’s punitive damages claim on the basis that any alleged asbestos exposure from Burnham boilers would fall below TLV or PEL/OSHA limits, and that Burnham did not have workers’ compensation claims for asbestos-related disease.

The court, however, determined that “Burnham has plainly not met their burden at summary judgment.” According to the court, TLV/OSHA standards have “little bearing on plaintiff’s unequivocal and …

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District Court Denies Aviation Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment

Jurisdiction:  United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Decedent John McCabe died from malignant epithelioid mesothelioma in January 2023, following a career as an aircraft mechanic. His estate initiated this action, alleging strict products liability and negligence against dozens of defendants, including Curtiss-Wright. Curtis-Wright moved for summary judgment, arguing that plaintiff failed to submit any evidence to support the claim the decedent was exposed to asbestos from working on or around its products.

Summary judgment is appropriate when “The movant shows that there is …

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Pump Manufacturer Obtains Summary Judgment on Causation

Jurisdiction: United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina

Marshall E. Pike worked in the farm-equipment manufacturing and maintenance field for the duration of his 55-year career. This included performing maintenance on fertilizer spreader and sprayer pumps at multiple companies. In September 2021, Pike was diagnosed with mesothelioma and commenced this action. His estate continued the action and added a wrongful death claim following his June 2023 death. Plaintiffs alleged the decedent’s handling of asbestos gasket material on Defco pumps contributed to his illness. Defco moved for …

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Motion to Dismiss Damages under Maritime Law Granted in Part

Jurisdiction: United States District Court for the Central District of California

In this action, the plaintiffs filed suit on behalf of the decedent, William Banks, in Los Angeles County Superior Court and thereafter removed the case to federal court. The plaintiffs pursued survival and wrongful death causes of action based on Banks’ alleged exposure to asbestos while serving in the United States Navy, and subsequent death from epithelial mesothelioma. Banks served as a machinist mate aboard several ships in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to …

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Premises Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim Granted

Plaintiff Marvin Evans was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 2022. Subsequently, the plaintiff sued a number of defendants in the Civil District Court for Orleans Parish, alleging that his lung cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos during his employment as a boilermaker with various companies between 1969 and 1980. The case was eventually removed to the Eastern District of Louisiana.

In the instant motion, one of the defendants, Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP, alleged that the plaintiff failed to state a claim against it. …

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