EPA Proposes Ban on Chrysotile Asbestos

On April 5, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced proposed regulation that would prohibit the use, manufacture, and import of chrysotile asbestos, also known as ‘white asbestos.’[1] Chrysotile asbestos is the most commonly used variety of asbestos in the United States and can be found in certain products, including brake pads and linings, gaskets, and roofing materials.[2] EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan characterized the proposal as a “bold, long-overdue” action with the aim of protecting the American people.[3]

This is not …

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Court Grants Equipment Manufacturer’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction and Denies Plaintiffs’ Request for Jurisdictional Discovery

State of New York, Supreme Court, County of Monroe, May 16, 2022

Plaintiffs John and Jayne Gaub commenced an asbestos-related lawsuit on February 22, 2021, against several defendants, including Textron, Inc., sued individually and as alleged successor to Bridgeport Machines, Inc. (defendant) for damages from personal injuries from Mr. Gaub’s alleged asbestos exposure from various products, including brakes changed in his presence on Bridgeport machines. All of Mr. Gaub’s work with and around Bridgeport products occurred in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Mr. Gaub was diagnosed with …

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Summary Judgment Granted Dismissing Plaintiff’s State Claims Against Employer Under LHWCA

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, May 19, 2022

In this asbestos action, plaintiff Callen Cortez brought state tort claims against Continental Insurance Company, sued in its capacity as the insurer of Halter Marine Services, Inc. The plaintiff worked at Halter Marine from 1974 until 1975, and was subsequently diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2020. Continental moved for summary judgment on the basis that the plaintiff’s claims against it are preempted under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).

Ultimately, the …

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Mesothelioma

Asbestos Complaint Survives Motion to Dismiss

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Eastern Division, May 13, 2022

The plaintiffs Augustus Adams and his wife brought suit against numerous defendants, alleging that Mr. Adams developed mesothelioma and other lung damage from exposure to asbestos fibers during the course of his employment. The plaintiffs assert claims for defective design, failure to warn, implied warranty, gross negligence, and loss of consortium. Defendant Vistra Intermediate Company LLC, individually and as successor-in-interest to CRSS, filed a motion to dismiss for failure to …

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Motions for Summary Judgment in Jones Act Matter Denied on Statute of Limitations and Causation Grounds

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, May 9, 2022

In this asbestos action, decedent Carlo Badamo served on several vessels during his time as a merchant marine from 1944 to 1955. Thereafter, he alleged that he developed asbestos-related cancer and brought a claim under the Jones Act. Three defendants: Farrell Lines, Chiquita, and Chevron, brought motions for summary judgment contending that the decedent’s claim is barred by the three-year statute of limitations. The defendants assert that the decedent underwent X-ray …

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Appellate Court Affirms in Part, Remands Trial Court’s Ruling Regarding Mask Manufacturer’s Negligence

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division One, May 9, 2022

In January 2020, the plaintiff, Larry Roemmich, sued 3M, among others, for product liability and negligence based on his diagnosis of mesothelioma, which he alleged was a result of his exposure to asbestos. The plaintiff worked at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 1968 to 1995 and alleged he was exposed to asbestos and asbestos-containing products as part of his work from 1968 until the early 1980s. The plaintiff wore 3M 8710 masks from 1972 until …

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Appellate Court Reverses Plaintiff’s Verdict on Causation Grounds

New York Court of Appeals, April 26, 2022

The plaintiff’s decedent, Florence Nemeth, was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 2012 and passed away in 2016. She and her husband filed suit against numerous defendants, alleging that Ms. Nemeth’s exposure to asbestos-containing products throughout her lifetime caused her mesothelioma. Ms. Nemeth was deposed prior to her death, but died prior to trial. The plaintiff settled with all defendants prior to trial with the exception of Whittaker, Clark & Daniels (Whittaker), the entity that the plaintiff alleged …

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Court Finds Plaintiff Properly Alleges Successor Liability to Survive Motion to Dismiss

Supreme Court of New York, New York County, April 24, 2022

The defendant, PB Heat LLC, filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint and a motion to impose sanctions. The plaintiff filed suit against PB Heat claiming exposure to asbestos, arguing that the doctrine of successor liability is applicable to PB Heat. PB Heat moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim, and moved for sanctions for alleged frivolous conduct. PB Heat argued the complaint lacked any factual allegations that could possibly warrant …

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Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment on General Causation Granted as Against Various Defendants

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, April 18, 2022

In this case, the plaintiff moved for summary judgment as to general causation of his mesothelioma diagnosis. Eight defendants filed five oppositions to the plaintiff’s motion; however, they largely did not challenge the plaintiff’s mesothelioma diagnosis or asbestos as its cause. Rather, they contested specific causation or “the sources of plaintiff’s exposure, the asbestos fiber types to which he was exposed, and whether particular products or defendants are responsible for causing his …

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Prior Release Bars Plaintiff’s Claims Against Railroad Defendant

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Plaintiff Leopoldo Mendoza-Gomez worked for 20 years as a laborer for the defendant, Union Pacific Railroad Company. He alleges that, while working for Union, he was exposed to various toxic substances including asbestos, and that he was diagnosed with cancer and asbestosis in 2019. In response to his filing of a federal lawsuit, Union asserted that the plaintiff’s claims were barred due to a release that the parties entered into in 2012. In that release, the plaintiff specifically …

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