CDC Reports Increase in Malignant Mesothelioma Mortality in Women

In spring of this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a 20-year rise in the number of mesothelioma deaths in women. Analyzing annual Multiple Cause of Death records from the National Vital Statistics System for 1999 to 2020, researchers found that the annual number of mesothelioma deaths among women in the United States increased from 489 in 1999 to 614 in 2020, which is a 25.6% increase. However, the age-adjusted death rate per 1 million women declined from 4.83 in 1999 …

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Judgment Against Dryer-Felt Supplier Affirmed on Appeal

Court of Appeals of South Carolina, August 3, 2022

In this asbestos action, decedent Stephen Stewart alleged exposure from working with asbestos-containing dryer felt associated with a paper machine from 1963 until 1981.

Stewart was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma in September 2012. After settling with all other defendants, Stewart proceeded to trial against Scapa Waycross, supplier of the dryer felt to Stewart’s employer. The jury found in Stewart’s favor and awarded damages in the amount of $600,000 for the survival action, and $100,000 for …

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Summary Judgment Granted for Insurer Where Plaintiff Failed to Establish Injury Occurred in Policy Period

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, August 3, 2022

Originally filed by Decedent prior to his passing related to mesothelioma, Plaintiffs were substituted as the parties in a wrongful death claim brought against Travelers Indemnity Co. (“Travelers”), among other defendants, under Louisiana’s direct actions statute, La. R.S. § 22:1269. Decedent was a vessel inspector for American Bureau of Shipping (“ABS”) who inspected vessels to determine if they met classification requirements at various shipyards from 1970 to 2006. Defendants removed the action pursuant to federal officer …

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Plaintiffs’ Motion to Remand Granted Based on Claim Disclaimer in Action against Boiler Manufacturer

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, August 2, 2022

Plaintiffs Kathryn and Earl Heilner filed a lawsuit against Foster Wheeler and 71 other defendants in the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas to recover damages Earl allegedly sustained due to asbestos exposure, which caused him to develop lung cancer. The complaint asserted claims for product liability, breach of implied warranty, negligence, fraudulent concealment of the harmful nature of asbestos, conspiracy, and loss of consortium. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that Earl was exposed …

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Partial Summary Judgment Granted to Insurer Under Professional Vendor Analysis

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, July 28, 2022

As previously reported in the Asbestos Case Tracker, decedent Callen Cortez alleged direct occupational exposure to asbestos, as well as take-home exposure from his father’s and brother’s work. As pertinent to this motion, the decedent’s father was an insulator for B&B Engineering and Supply Company from 1966 until 1968. The insurer of B&B moved for summary judgment on four grounds.

The insurer first argued that it had no duty of care to …

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Multiple Defendants Successful on Motions for Summary Judgment on Plaintiffs’ Intentional Tort and Fraud Claims

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, July 25, 2022

As previously reported on the Asbestos Case Tracker, this matter stems from decedent Callan Cortez’s take-home exposure to asbestos, from his brother, Daniel, who lived with the decedent while he worked at Avondale Shipyards in 1967-68. Most recently, defendants ViacomCBS Inc. (Westinghouse), General Electric Company, and Foster Wheeler, LLC filed motions for partial summary judgment, seeking to dismiss the plaintiffs’ intentional-tort and fraud claims.

Summary judgment is warranted when “the movant shows that …

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Court Grants Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Discovery from Turbine Manufacturer at Various Power Stations

Superior Court of Rhode Island, Providence, July 22, 2022

In this asbestos-related lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that the decedent, Ann Stadtler, developed mesothelioma and died due to take-home exposure to asbestos from her stepfather, Charles Ferguson, with whom she lived from 1948 to 1965. During this time, as part of his employment as a union insulator, Ferguson worked at several different power stations in the New England area.

On November 6, 2019, the plaintiffs served defendant Westinghouse with interrogatories and requests for production of documents …

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Automotive Defendant Obtains Dismissal for Lack of Jurisdiction

United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, July 21, 2022

In this asbestos action, defendant Honeywell International Inc., f/k/a Allied Signal Inc. as successor-in-interest to The Bendix Corporation filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. Plaintiff failed to respond to Honeywell’s motion.

A district court has personal jurisdiction over a defendant “who is subject to the jurisdiction of a court of general jurisdiction in the state where the district court is located.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(k)(1)(A). An Illinois district …

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Plaintiff’s Expert precluded from offering testimony on whether Supplier can be Considered a Manufacturer

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, July 20, 2022

In this asbestos action, decedent Callen Cortez was diagnosed with mesothelioma following occupational and take-home exposure to asbestos. As relevant to the motion, plaintiff’s complaint alleged that former suppliers and distributors Eagle and McCarty were liable as manufacturers as a “professional vendor,” as they “would package [asbestos-containing] products from other distributors and manufacturers . . . in their own boxes and packaging, and hold out the products as their own.” Defendants moved …

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Plaintiffs’ Judgment Covered in Part under Excess Policies, Subject to “All Sums” Allocation

Supreme Court of New York, Monroe County

Meissner v. Ridge Constr., Inc., 2022 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 310

After obtaining a jury trial verdict of $8 million on November 19, 2019, in an action for asbestos exposure in 1970-71 resulting in mesothelioma against Ridge Construction, Inc., a former subsidiary of Eastman Kodak, the plaintiffs filed an action under New York Insurance Law § 3420 (the coverage action) in an effort to collect the judgment under three excess insurance policies issued by certain underwriters at Lloyd’s of …

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