Courtroom, Gavel And Law Books

2022 Asbestos Litigation Trends

KCIC recently issued its latest industry report: Asbestos Litigation: 2022 Year in Review, which collected data through January 31 of this year, and assessed that data alongside statistics from its 2021 Year in Review.   

Several takeaways from the update, each addressed at greater length below, are as follows:  

  1. As of January 31, 2023, the total asbestos filings reflected a decrease of 7 percent compared to total filings in 2021.   
  2. Mesothelioma filings increased 2 percent in 2022; however, filings for other disease types, including lung
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Denial of Talc Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Reversed on Appeal

Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District

The plaintiffs, John and Joanne Fleemin, filed the instant products liability lawsuit against numerous defendants, including Lornamead, Inc., a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in New York. The plaintiffs alleged that Joanne developed mesothelioma as a result of her exposure to asbestos-containing cosmetic talcum powder products between 1978 and 2015. They attributed Yardley Lavender talcum powder to Lornamead. The plaintiffs further asserted that the defendants were subject to jurisdiction in Florida based on having “maintained …

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Courtroom, Gavel And Law Books

Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand Denied; Court Finds Defendants’ Removal Timely

Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Southern Division

This action was filed in the Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama, on June 23, 2022. The complaint named numerous defendants, including Paramount Global (“Westinghouse”) and General Electric Company. Plaintiff Gloria Craig suffers from mesothelioma allegedly as a result of her take-home exposure to asbestos via her ex-husband. Specifically, plaintiff alleged Mr. Craig brought home asbestos on his clothes while he was working at Alabama Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co. (“ADDSCO”) in …

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Helicopter Engine Manufacturer’s Removal Based on Federal-Officer Jurisdiction Upheld

Jurisdiction: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division

Decedent Gustave Sahm died from lung cancer allegedly caused by asbestos exposure from 1956 to 2020 during his service in the United States Navy, and as a police officer for St. Louis County. His heirs filed suit in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis in January 2023, alleging the Raytheon products he encountered through his work with police helicopters contributed to his disease. Defendant Raytheon removed the case pursuant to 28 …

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Talc Supplier’s Motion for Summary Judgment Denied as to Causation, Granted as to Punitive Damages

Court: Supreme Court of New York, Erie County

In this asbestos matter, plaintiffs claimed that decedent, Jeffrey Campise, was exposed to asbestos through consumer talcum powder products. Plaintiffs filed suit against a number of manufacturers of cosmetic-talc products, along with Whitaker, Clark & Daniels (WCD), as an alleged supplier of talc to the aforementioned manufacturers. WCD filed a motion for summary judgment seeking to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims in their entirety. 

As a preliminary matter, WCD argued it was speculative as to whether its talc was in …

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Jury Award of $36 Million Affirmed against Contractor

Court: Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

In this asbestos action, plaintiff William Walker alleged asbestos exposure from working as a pipefitter and welder for Level 3 Holdings Inc. f/k/a Peter Kiewit & Sons, Co. (“Level 3”) from 1967 until 1970. During this time, he worked at the Union Carbide Plant, Waterford I, and Waterford II. This case proceeded to trial in May 2022 where the jury found for the plaintiff and awarded damages in the amount of over $36 million dollars. In July …

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Court Denies, in Part, Plaintiffs’ Appeal of Summary Judgment for Various Defendants

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

In April 2018, Emily Everett complained to her primary care physician of severe abdominal swelling.  After extensive workup, Everett received a diagnosis of mesothelioma. She attributed the diagnosis to laundering her husband’s work clothes over a 20-year period when he worked as a journeyman welder and boilermaker. She filed a petition for damages in June 2018 prior to her passing in April 2019. In March 2022, several defendants including Foster Wheeler filed separate motions for summary judgment. Defendant Peter Kiewit Sons later …

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Court Finds No Fraudulent Joinder, Plaintiff Successful on Motion to Remand

Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio; April 28, 2023

This asbestos-related action was brought by plaintiff Carolyn Keiser on behalf of herself and as the executor of her husband, decedent David Keiser’s estate. The decedent was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which the plaintiff alleges was caused by his occupational exposure to asbestos from defendants Donald McKay Smith, Inc. (“DMS”), Red Seal Electric Company and Vanderbilt Minerals LLC.

Plaintiff originally brought this action in state court. Defendant Vanderbilt removed it to federal …

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Joint Compound Manufacturer Files Appeal of $15M Verdict: Key Issues on Appeal

As previously reported in the Asbestos Case Tracker here, in June 2022 a jury awarded plaintiff Munir Seen $15 million, allocating 70 percent of the fault to joint compound manufacturer Kaiser Gypsum. Following the trial, Kaiser moved for three forms of post-trial relief. The court denied Kaiser’s motions in their entirety in March.  

Kaiser first moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, contending that “plaintiff’s expert proof at trial . . . was defective and insufficient as a matter of law” as per the Court …

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Court Grants Plaintiffs Opportunity to Identify Brake Brand before Ruling on Motion to Quash

Court: Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

Plaintiffs Samson Bareh and Gen Bareh filed this matter, alleging Samson developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos. Defendant Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance Inc. filed the within motion to quash service of summons for lack of personal jurisdiction.

The plaintiff had made no specific allegations against Aftermarket, and the complaint alleged nothing about Aftermarket, except to name it as a defendant.

A defendant may move to quash service of summons on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of …

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