Study Identifies New Genetic Mutation Linked to Mesothelioma—LRRK2

In a study published on May 18, 2021 in Human Molecular Genetics, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, along with a team of international researchers, identified another genetic mutation, in addition to BAP1, that may predispose individuals to malignant mesothelioma.

The authors of the study, which was overseen by Joseph R. Testa, PhD, FACMG of the Cancer Signaling and Epigenetics Program at Fox Chase, first recognized that at this point, “[t]here is irrefutable evidence that germline BAP1 mutations contribute to malignant mesothelioma …

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Brake Grinding Machine Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment on Lack of Product Nexus

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

In this asbestos action, plaintiff Shelley Droz alleged that decedent Eric Droz developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos from using an AMMCO brake arcing machine and grinder. Defendant Hennessey moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff had not established that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from products attributable to Hennessey. The plaintiff contended that the process of grinding brake drums and linings manufactured by three distinct companies was a dusty process, which was dusty “to such …

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Brake Manufacturer’s Grant of Summary Judgment Upheld on Reconsideration Due to Lack of Causation

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Southern Division, June 9, 2021

The plaintiffs, William and Karla Dickens, allege that William Dickens developed mesothelioma due to his exposure to asbestos-containing products during automotive mechanical work. The plaintiffs sued multiple defendants, including Ford Motor Co. (Ford). Ford moved for summary judgment in two motions, seeking to dismiss the substantive and punitive damage claims against it. The court determined that there was insufficient evidence of asbestos causation and granted summary judgment. The plaintiffs moved for …

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Floor Tile Manufacturer Denied Summary Judgment Due to Issues of Fact

Supreme Court of New York, New York County, May 19, 2021

Defendant The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company filed a motion for summary judgment pursuant to CPLR 3212 arguing that the only product manufactured by defendant which matches plaintiff Pietro Camiolo’s (the decedent) description of the alleged asbestos product he worked with, never contained asbestos, and that there is no evidence that any Goodyear brand floor tile with which decedent may have worked actually contained asbestos. The plaintiffs oppose the motion.

The court noted that …

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Court Grants New Trial to Boiler Defendant Based on Improper Jury Instruction Regarding Causation

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division One, June 4, 2021

The decedent worked as a plumber in Michigan from 1969 to 1976. The plaintiff contends the decedent was exposed to asbestos during this time when working with boilers manufactured by Weil-McLain Company, Inc. (now a division of The Marley-Wylain Company (MW)). The decedent’s exposure to asbestos by MW products occurred entirely in Michigan. The plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2014 and subsequently filed suit, under California law, against a number of …

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Plaintiff’s Verdict Reversed Based on Jury Charge Errors on Failure to Warn and Medical Causation

Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, May 26, 2021

In this case, the plaintiff filed suit as personal administer of her husband’s estate against defendant Union Carbide. The jury returned a verdict in the plaintiff’s favor on the claims of strict liability and negligent failure to warn. Union Carbide appealed, arguing that a new trial should be granted due to two errors in the jury instructions: (1) the instruction on failure to warn and (2) the instruction on medical causation. The court agreed and …

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Motion to Remand Granted Based on Lack of Diversity in Action Against Oil Refinery

United States District Court for the District of the Virgin Islands, Division of St. Croix, May 25, 2021.

In this action, the plaintiffs, multiple former oil refinery workers, asserted state law tort claims for asbestos-related injuries against Hess Corp. and Hess Oil Virgin Islands Corp. (HOVIC). Hess is a Delaware corporation based in New York. HOVIC is a Virgin Islands corporation with its principal place of business in New York. The action was originally filed in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix …

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Flooring Manufacturers’ Summary Judgment Reversed due to Question of Fact on Causation

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Second Department, May 26, 2021

The plaintiff, Victoria Pistone, and her husband, suing derivatively, brought this asbestos action against American Biltrite, Inc. and Mannington Mills, Inc., among other defendants. The defendants moved separately for summary judgment based on a lack of causation. Judge George R. Peck granted summary judgment. The plaintiffs appealed.

The plaintiff alleged that exposure to asbestos caused her to develop peritoneal mesothelioma. She claimed she was exposed to the defendants’ flooring products from approximately 1973 …

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Denial of Summary Judgment Affirmed as to Fireproofing Contractor

As previously reported by the Asbestos Case Tracker, Judge Manuel Mendez, former NYCAL coordinating judge, denied defendant Mario & DiBono Plastering Co., Inc.’s (M&D) motion for summary judgment. M&D appealed this decision. The Appellate Division noted that the court properly denied M&D’s smmary judgment motion since it failed to unequivocally establish that the materials it used could not have contributed to plaintiff’s injury. Moreover, the court noted that in light of the decedent’s testimony, which M&D submitted in support of it motion, identifying the …

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Wire and Cable Company’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Causation Denied

Supreme Court of New York, New York County, May 11, 2021

The plaintiff alleged that the decedent, Alvin Smith, was exposed to asbestos from skinning, stripping, and pulling asbestos-containing wire and cable manufactured by the defendant, Ericsson, Inc.’s predecessors, Anaconda Wire & Cable Company and Continental Wire & Cable Company, at various locations throughout his career. Mr. Smith testified during his deposition that he was exposed to asbestos dust during his work with these products. Ericsson moved for summary judgment arguing that the plaintiff failed …

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