NYCAL Judge Manuel Mendez Appointed to Appellate Division, Question Remains: Who is the Next NYCAL Coordinating Judge?

On July 13, 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced four appointments to fill vacancies in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, in the First Department of New York State. Two of those appointees are no strangers to New York Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL), Judge Martin Shulman and Judge Manuel Mendez. NYCAL has one of the most active asbestos dockets in the United States. In fact, NYCAL had approximately 314 filings in 2019.

Justice Shulman, a well-known judge in NYCAL was first elected to the Manhattan …

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Farm Equipment Dealer Wins Motion for Summary Judgment

U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, July 29, 2020

Plaintiff John Pruitt filed this asbestos lawsuit alleging he contracted mesothelioma from occupational exposure to asbestos. The plaintiff served in the Navy from September 1959 to April 1962. Upon his discharge from the Navy, he worked at Schroer, a John Deere farm equipment dealership in Valdosta, Georgia, from 1963 to 1974. He initially worked as a runner, delivering and picking up parts such as brakes, clutches, and paint decals. In 1966, he started working …

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Plaintiffs Agree to Defendant’s Dismissal After Motion to Dismiss Filed in Talc Case

U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, July 29, 2020

On February 28, 2019, plaintiffs John Castro and Joyce Castro commenced this products liability action in state court against defendants, including CVS Pharmacy, alleging that Mr. Castro was diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos from his use of asbestos-contaminated talc products.

On March 1, 2019, this matter was removed to federal court on motion by the defendants.  The plaintiffs filed a motion to remand. On June 2, 2020, the court accepted …

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Case Remanded to State Court Due to Lack of Diversity or Federal Enclave Jurisdiction Over Equipment Manufacturer

In Hatten v. Grobet United States, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona recently ruled on a defendant’s motion to remove the case to federal court. In this case, plaintiff Renee Hatton alleged that as a result of the defendants’ actions, her mother contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos-containing products between 1977 and 1979 while working as an art teacher and jewelry-making instructor at Fort Huachuca. Defendant Grobet filed a notice of removal, asserting that the court had federal enclave jurisdiction, as …

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Electrical Manufacturing Defendant’s Motion to Exclude Plaintiff’s Experts Denied After Daubert Hearing

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, July 21, 2020

Decedent Thomas Gorton, the husband of plaintiff Rhonda J. Gorton, developed mesothelioma, allegedly due to his occupational exposure to defendants’ asbestos-containing products. Prior to trial, defendant Eaton Corporation, as successor-in-interest to Cutler-Hammer filed a Motion to Exclude the Expert Testimony of the plaintiff’s experts Richard Kradin, M.D. and Howard M. Kipen, M.D., MPH. In July 2020, the court held a two-day Daubert hearing. Under Daubert, “the district court acts as a gatekeeper, …

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Shipyard’s Removal to Federal Court Granted Based on New Case Law

In a case previously covered by Asbestos Case Tracker, the court granted plaintiff’s motion to remand after Avondale removed this case to federal court. In this instant matter, defendant Avondale  again removed this case relying on the Fifth Circuit’s opinion in Latiolais v. Huntington Ingalls, Inc., a case in which it overturned the court’s prior “causal nexus” jurisprudence and adopted a broader “relating to” test. The plaintiff again moves for remand arguing (1) that the defendant’s removal was untimely and (2) that the …

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Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment Denied Due to Genuine Question of Material Fact

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, July 13, 2020

In the instant complaint, Marcela Lopez, the decedent’s wife and Federico Lopez III, the decedent’s surviving child, allege that Federico Lopez was exposed to asbestos-containing products while employed as a welder/pipefitter at Kellog Brown and Root between 1973 and 1986 and that he contracted malignant mesothelioma as a result of such exposure. Approximately one year later, plaintiffs Jessica and Alfred Soliz filed suit in the 19th Judicial Court for the Parish of East …

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Court of Appeals Reverses Dismissal of Asbestos Manufacturer Based on Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division One, July 13, 2020

In Noll v. Special Electric Co., the Court of Appeals of Washington, Division One, recently opined on an order of remand regarding the trial court’s dismissal of an action because the court lacked personal jurisdiction over the defendant. The trial court concluded that the plaintiff did not allege sufficient facts for Washington to exercise specific jurisdiction over the defendant. In granting the defendant’s original motion, the court held that the plaintiff failed to allege …

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Talc Manufacturer’s Motion to Dismiss on Forum Non Conveniens Denied

Supreme Court of New York, New York County, July 1, 2020

Glynnis Gale DeKlerk (the decedent) was born in South Africa in 1951 and lived there until 2017, when she and her husband moved to the United Kingdom. She was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in February of 2018 and died on January 20, 2019. The plaintiff commenced this action in New York on July 27, 2018 seeking to recover for injuries sustained by the decedent resulting from her alleged exposure to asbestos from talc and …

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Floor Tile Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment on Both General and Specific Causation

Supreme Court of New York, New York County, June 25, 2020

The plaintiff, Carletto Lamenta (the decedent), was diagnosed with lung cancer in October of 2017 and subsequently filed this lawsuit alleging his injuries were a result of his occupational exposure to asbestos.  The decedent’s deposition took place over the course of seven days, during which he testified that he was exposed to asbestos in a variety of ways, including from his work with ABI’s Amtico vinyl asbestos floor tiles from the 1970s through the mid-1980s.

ABI filed a …

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