Summary Judgment Reversed Where Court Finds Genuine Dispute as to Fraudulent Transfer of Assets

The plaintiff filed this personal injury lawsuit under theories of negligence and strict liability following the death of her husband from mesothelioma. The plaintiff maintained that her husband was exposed to asbestos-containing products allegedly manufactured and/or sold by Fire Brick Engineers Company, Inc. (FBE Company) from approximately 1963-69. In approximately 1983, Fire Brick Engineers Corporation (FBE Corporation), whose investors included attorneys who had previously represented FBE Company, purchased the assets of FBE Company and eventually changed its name to Fire Brick Engineers Company, Inc. In …

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Ninth Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment for Pump Defendants on Evidence of Supply of Asbestos Containing Gaskets and Packing to U.S. Navy

John H. Boyd, III, as the representative of the plaintiff and appellant Captain John H. Boyd, Jr. (deceased), appealed to the Ninth Circuit the District Court for the Central District of California’s granting of summary judgment in favor of Warren Pumps, LLC, and Air and Liquid Systems Corporation (successor in interest to Buffalo Pumps, Inc.) in this diversity products liability action. In this case, it was alleged that exposure to asbestos from the appellees’ products during Captain Boyd’s service on board the U.S. Navy’s USS …

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Court Declines to Address Causation Standard In Upholding Summary Judgment on Trial Court’s Less Burdensome Standard

Plaintiff Patricia Grant and the Estate of Edward Grant appealed from summary judgments entered against them on their complaint for damages for Edward Grant’s lung cancer and death based on negligence, failure to warn of defective, unreasonably dangerous goods, and loss of consortium. Summary judgment was granted on the motions of New England Insulation Company (NEI); Foster Wheeler, LLC; Warren Pumps, LLC; and IMO Industries, Inc. The plaintiff’s decedent Edward Grant worked for Beth Iron Works from 1964 to 1970 and again from 1978 to …

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Personal Injury Trust Fund Transparency Act Introduced to Assembly Judiciary Committee of New Jersey

On June 2, 2016, a bipartisan bill known as the Personal Injury Trust Fund Transparency Act was introduced to the Assembly Judiciary Committee of New Jersey. Per its synopsis, the act’s main purposes are to require plaintiffs to file personal injury trust claims under certain circumstances, address allocations of trust claims, and establish scheduling and discovery requirements for certain tort actions.

The bill, sponsored by assemblywoman Holly Schepisi and assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson, arose out of its sponsors’ beliefs that there is currently a lack …

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Sealing Technology Manufacturer John Crane Inc. Files Two Lawsuits Against Plaintiffs Firms Alleging Fraud and RICO Violations, Following Step with Garlock

Sealing Technology Manufacturer John Crane Inc. (JCI) has filed two separate lawsuits against asbestos plaintiffs firms Shein Law Center, Ltd. and Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, PC, alleging that they violated federal mail and wire fraud statutes, federal obstruction of justice and witness tampering statutes, and the federal RICO statute.

JCI claims the defendants “systematically and falsely denied their clients were exposed to numerous other asbestos-containing products in litigation against JCI, and once the litigation was complete, filed claims with asbestos bankruptcy trusts set up by …

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Jurors in Toxic Tort Litigation Take Genetic Issues Seriously

Can jurors and/or judges grasp the role of genetics in personal injury claims alleged to arise from exposure to specific chemicals?  Can they grasp the issues well enough to really help expert witnesses present the issues clearly, and to help jurors grasp the issues?  In a recent post on this blog, we made reference to the first asbestos trial making explicit reference to a plaintiff with BAP1 mutations and the alleged role of those mutations in the causation story. The point of this month’s post …

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Court Dismisses Cross-Claims for Lack of Ripeness Since There Was No Judgment Against Ford Defendants

The plaintiffs filed suit against multiple defendants for violation of the Connecticut Product Liability Act, loss of consortium, fraud and premises liability, alleging that the plaintiff Kenneth Reed contracted mesothelioma as a result of direct and secondary exposure to asbestos. After the plaintiffs settled with or dismissed sixty-three of the defendants, the complaint was amended as to the only remaining defendants: Ford Motor Company, Bridge-Haven Ford Truck Sales, Inc. and Stamford Motors (collectively, the Ford Defendants). The Ford Defendants answered the amended complaint and, in …

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Boiler Manufacturers Obtain Summary Judgment Based on Statute of Repose

In this case, the decedent, Ralph Vitale, alleged exposure to asbestos from the installation of Burnham and Weil-McLain residential boilers during the course of his work through his own HVAC and plumbing business between 1966 and 1979.  Defendants Burnham, LLC and Weil-McLain, a division of the Marley-Wylain Company, moved for summary judgment  on the basis that no cause of action accrued against them pursuant to Maryland’s statute of repose, codified at Sec. 5-108 of the Maryland Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings article. Maryland’s statute of …

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Summary Judgment Granted to Cleaver Brooks Because Vague Witness Testimony Not Enough to Establish Exposure

The decedent in this case, Michael Walashek, alleged exposure to asbestos from various products, including Cleaver-Brooks boilers, during the course of his work for various entities between 1967 and 1986. The exposure allegedly caused him to “suffer severe and permanent injury and ultimately death.” The plaintiff, Gail Walashek, subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant Cleaver-Brooks, Inc. and other entities alleging claims of negligence and strict liability in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Following discovery, the defendant moved for summary …

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Special Electric’s Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict Overturned on Appeal Despite Sale of Raw Asbestos Was to Sophisticated User Johns Manville

Plaintiff William Webb brought a claim against multiple defendants for his alleged development of mesothelioma as a result of his occupational exposure to crocidolite while working for Pyramid Pipe as a warehouseman and truck driver.

A supplier of raw asbestos, defendant Special Electric, was found liable for failure to warn and negligence. Special Electric supplied the Johns Manville Corporation with raw crocidolite asbestos to be used in the manufacturer of multiple Johns Manville products. The court noted that Johns Manville was a vast manufacturer with …

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