David E. Rutkowski

All articles by David E. Rutkowski

 

Testimony of Plaintiff’s Key Witness is Inadmissible Hearsay; Court Reverses Judgment in Mesothelioma Claim

CALIFORNIA — In the matter of Frank C. Hart, he Court of Appeal, First District, Division 5, California reversed a lower court’s judgment against defendant after finding the testimony of plaintiff’s key witness was inadmissible hearsay. The plaintiff Frank C. Hart filed suit alleging that his mesothelioma diagnosed was caused by exposure to asbestos from his work in construction as a pipe layer. The paintiff alleged that defendant supplied asbestos-containing piping that exposed him to asbestos. The lower court’s judgment was primarily based on a…  

Chanel Obtains Defense Verdict from Oregon Jury in Living Mesothelioma Claim

OREGON — An Oregon jury delivered a defense verdict for defendant Chanel on September 17, 2018 after a four-week trial in a living pleural mesothelioma claim. Chanel asserted an spontaneous etiology defense and the jury unanimously found that (i) Chanel was not negligent and (ii) was no defect in the Chanel cosmetic talc product allegedly used by plaintiff in this case.…  

Court Precludes Some But Not All Testimony of Naval Expert

VIRGINIA — Following up with a prior ACT post on the Harry Goodrich matter pending in the United States District Court, E.D., Virginia, the Court has issued an omnibus opinion concerning motions in limine. Among other issues decided, the court addressed the plaintiffs’ motion to limit the testimony of defendants’ naval expert, Margaret McCloskey (McCloskey). Pursuant to Rule 702, the plaintiffs sought to limit the testimony of McCloskey in four (4) respects: (i) as unqualified to opine about plaintiffs actual exposure to asbestos-containing thermal insulation…  

NYCAL Verdict Reduced from $60M to $29M

NEW YORK — The plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma in April 2015 (55 years old) and passed away about fifteen (15) months later in July 2016.  Thereafter, in October 2015, the plaintiff’s estate brought suit in NYCAL against a number of defendants alleging that the decedent’s mesothelioma diagnosis and death was caused by decedent’s exposure to asbestos from products that were manufactured, distributed, and/or sold by the defendants. This case ultimately went to trial and was presided over by Justice Manuel Mendez. In April 2018,…  

Defendant Fails to Meet Removal Requirements under 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a)

CALIFORNIA — The plaintiff Randolph Morton (Plaintiff or Morton) filed this personal injury claim in California state court alleging that Morton’s asbestos-related disease was allegedly caused by the defendants’ acts and omissions involving the use of asbestos at or in the vicinity of Morton’s workplace. The defendant removed the case to federal court (United States District Court, Central District of California) based on federal office removal jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a).  Here, defendant seeks to put forth the government contractor defense, which outlines that…  

District Court Remands Case Back to New Jersey State Court After Federal Defendant is Dismissed

NEW JERSEY — On October 30, 2015, The plaintiffs Thomas Grimes and Estelle Grimes Estelle Grimes initially filed suit in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County against a number of defendants alleging that Mr. Grimes’s mesothelioma was caused by exposure to defendants’ asbestos or asbestos-containing products. Shortly thereafter, the case was removed to the United States District Court, District Court of New Jersey, following Defendant Crane’s Notice of Removal relating to the federal officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. Section 1442(a)(1). Pursuant to…  

Plaintiff’s Expert Causation Opinion Not Considered to be Each and Every Exposure Theory

WASHINGTON — The United States District Court, Western District of Washington addressed several expert challenges including, among others, motions to preclude Dr. Ronald Gordon, Dr. Carl Brodkin, and Dr. Arnold Brody – all which involve the application of the “each and every exposure” and/or “cumulative exposure” theories. For a brief case background, this case centers around allegations that decedent developed mesothelioma, and ultimately passed away from the disease, due to occupational exposure to asbestos from work as a machinist in the Navy and in the…  

Naval Architect Not Qualified to Render Opinions as to Automotive Products

WASHINGTON — The United States District Court, Western District of Washington addressed several expert challenges including the motion of the defendant Ford (Ford) to exclude Dr. Charles Cushing’s statements regarding the plaintiffs’ likely exposure to asbestos during automotive work. For a brief case background, this case centers around allegations that decedent developed mesothelioma, and ultimately passed away from the disease, due to occupational exposure to asbestos from work as a machinist in the Navy and in the Naval reserve from 1954-1962; as a machinist and…  

Defendants’ Knowledge of Asbestos Not Required to Survive Motion to Dismiss

The United States District Court, District of Montana, issued identical decisions in three with the following similarly situated plaintiffs (collectively as “plaintiffs” ) and defendant BNSF Railway Company (BNSF):
  • Lloyd E. Underwood (CV-17-83-GF-BMM-JTJ);
  • Carrie Sue Murphy-Fauth (CV-17-79-GF-BMM-JTJ);
  • Consuela Deason, as Personal Representative for the Estate of James E. Deason (CV-17-76-GF-BMM-JTJ).
In each case, BNSF filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim (among other arguments).  Here, BNSF argued that the plaintiffs failed to allege that BNSF owed the plaintiffs a duty of…  

Recent NYCAL Trends in the 2017 & 2018 Accelerated Clusters

The current state of asbestos litigation in New York City (NYCAL) continues to evolve as both the plaintiffs’ bar and defense bar deal with a revised Case Management Order (CMO) and judicial turnover. For a better understanding of the types of claims that are actually being litigated in NYCAL, and what firms are filing these claims, we can look at the current filing trends under the “cluster” procedure that is used in this jurisdiction. The CMO explains there are three dockets used in NYCAL: (1)…  

Concrete Factual Information Starts the 30-Day Removal Clock

ILLINOIS — In September 2016, the plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma, and in September 2017, he filed suit against a defendant, and a number of other parties, alleging his illness was caused by exposure to asbestos. The plaintiff claimed that his exposure occurred between 1970 and 2004 while he was serving in the United States Air Force, working as a commercial airline mechanic, and/or engaging in home remodeling and other activities. The defendant was served with the plaintiff’s complaint on September 21, 2017 and filed…  

Baltimore $5 Million-plus Verdict Overturned for New Trial

MARYLAND — On May 11, 2018, defendants Mack Trucks, Inc. and Ford Motor Co. (collectively as defendants) won a new trial with a decision that overturned a $5 million-plus verdict issued by a Baltimore City jury. The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland found that the trial court provided improper instructions to the jury on the issue of negligence, which was prejudicial to the defendants. Accordingly, the judgments were reversed and remanded for further proceedings on the negligence claims against them not inconsistent with the…  

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Certiorari for Appeal of Punitive Damages Award

MISSOURI — In the matter of Jeannette G. Poage vs. Crane Co., Docket No. 17-900, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, Crane Co. affirmed, among other things, the lower’s court punitive damages award in favor of plaintiff. Crane Co. appealed to the Supreme Court, requesting the high court address two key issues:  (1) Whether the due process clause requires appellate review that considers factors undermining the reasonableness of the punitive damages award; and (2) whether the due process clause prohibits a punitive damages…  

Court Finds Jurisdictional Discovery Relevant to Specific Jurisdiction Inquiry

LOUISIANA — In this case, the plaintiff filed suit in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana, alleging the Decedent William Leech was diagnosed with mesothelioma on January 11, 2016 and passed away on January 14, 2016. The plaintiff further alleges the decedent was a construction engineer who worked with and was exposed to asbestos at numerous job sites in Louisiana, California, Arizona, Virginia, and other states from approximately 1965 through 1992, including the Morton Salty facility in Weeks Island,…  

New York First Department, Appellate Division, Affirms NYCAL CMO

New York — On June 20, 2017, former NYCAL Justice Peter Moulton issued a new case management order (New CMO) in NYCAL and an accompanying decision with respect to same. The NYCAL defendants did not consent to the New CMO. ACT’s prior post on the New CMO is available here. NYCAL defendants subsequently appealed. On March 22, 2018, the Appellate Division, First Department, determined that the New CMO did not do not deprive defendants of due process and Justice Moulton, pursuant to certain court…  

Third Party Negligence Found as New Proximate Cause in a Mesothelioma Claim

Plaintiff Erik Ross Phillips filed suit against a number of defendants after contracting mesothelioma allegedly caused by occupational exposure to asbestos in brake linings used in a machine at the facilities of his employer. The defendants, among others, included the manufacturers and distributors of the brake linings. At trial, Phillips pursued a negligent failure-to-warn theory under North Carolina law against both defendants. As a defense, the distributor and manufacturer argued that even if they were negligent, they are not liable because of the intervening negligence…  

Los Angeles Jury Concludes Mesothelioma Not Caused By Asbestos

CALIFORNIA — The estate of Velma Searcy (plaintiffs) filed suit in the Superior Court of Los Angeles for the personal injuries and subsequent death of Velma Searcy at age 51. The plaintiffs argued that Searcy’s mesothelioma diagnosis and death was caused from occupational exposure to asbestos through Searcy’s work as an electrician in the aerospace industry. The plaintiffs’ claims also included allegations of take-home asbestos exposure as a child watching her father perform brake changes on various vehicles. Most of the defendants either settled with…  

Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Consider Manufacturer’s Liability for Asbestos-Containing Component Parts

PENNSYLVANIA — The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit submitted a Petition for Certification of Question Law on the following issues for consideration: (1) Whether, under Pennsylvania law, a manufacturer as a duty to warn about the hazards of asbestos relating to component parts it has neither manufactured or supplied and (2) if such a duty exists, what is the appropriate legal test to determine liability. On October 26, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to consider these issues and instructed parties…  

Plaintiff’s Incomplete Deposition Testimony Deemed Inadmissible; Summary Judgment Granted for Defendant

OHIO — The decedent, Donald French, filed suit as a result of his diagnosis of mesothelioma allegedly caused by occupational exposure from asbestos-containing products through his work at U.S. Steel in Dearborn, Michigan. French provided testimony as to his alleged exposures at a discovery deposition that lasted approximately 18 hours over three days. On the third day, French identified the defendant as a source of exposure. The deposition, however, was not completed. The fourth day of deposition was adjourned due to French’s poor health. French…  

Personal Jurisdiction Challenges Growing in Madison County; May Lead to Fewer Asbestos Filings

ILLINOIS — Continuing a national trend following the Bristol Myers Squibb Co. v. Supreme Court of California (2017) and Daimler AG v. Bauman (2014), the Supreme Court of Illinois has issued a personal jurisdiction opinion that will limit the ability of out-of-state plaintiffs to file suit in Illinois against “non-resident” or foreign defendants. In the matter of Aspen American Insurance Company v. Interstate Warehousing, Inc., Eastern Fish Company (Eastern) is a New Jersey-based corporation that sources and imports fish products. In 2013, Eastern contracted with…  

Massachusetts Corporation Granted Dismissal for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

Plaintiffs Sean Snowdale and Ryan Snowdale as Co-Executors of the Estate of Donald Kenneth Snowdale initially filed this asbestos-related suit against a number of defendants, including Barnes & Jones, Incorporated on July 6, 2015 in the Supreme Court of New York, New York County (NYCAL). Barnes & Jones answered and asserted the affirmative defense that NYCAL lacked personal jurisdiction over Barnes & Jones as to each and every count in the complaint. On July 20, 2017, Barnes & Jones moved to dismiss based on lack…  

$8.5 Million Verdict Affirmed Against Premises Defendant

Plaintiffs Dennis Britt and Rosa-Maria Britt filed suit after Dennis Britt was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Britt ultimately passed away from the disease and Rosa-Marie Britt continued as personal representative of his estate and added a wrongful death claim. Britt was an employee benefits advisor from 1978-1997 where he visited various commercial and industrial facilities to speak with, and enroll, employees of these facilities, some of which were owned and operated by the defendant. Prior to his death, Britt testified that during the course of his…  

Car Manufacturer Obtains Dismissal Based on Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

Plaintiffs Harold and Judy Haynes filed suit in Delaware Superior Court on June 3, 2016 alleging that Harold Haynes’ lung cancer diagnosis was caused by asbestos exposure. The plaintiffs specifically alleged that Harold Haynes was exposed to asbestos-containing products as a career auto mechanic for Volkswagen dealerships in Washington and Oregon between 1964 and 1980. On July 15, 2016, the case was removed to the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. Defendant Volkswagen filed a motion to dismiss based on personal jurisdiction…  

Summary Judgment Upheld for Georgia Pacific Because Proof Didn’t Distinguish Between Asbestos and Non-Asbestos Product

Defendant Georgia Pacific was granted partial summary judgment, in that all claims against the defendant “pre-1973” were barred. The plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration arguing that the court overlooked the fact that the defendant stopped distributing asbestos joint compound in September 1973. In response to the plaintiff’s motion, the defendant argued that the court properly granted partial summary judgment relating to the plaintiff’s pre-1973 claims as the decision was based on a Stigliano analysis, which states “ when the record reveals that a defendant…  

New York Jury Awards $4.6M to Welder with Mesothelioma

The plaintiff, 75-year-old Thomas McGlynn, contracted mesothelioma on or about May 16, 2016 and filed suit in NYCAL on August 1, 2016 under Index No. 190219/16. The complaint alleged that McGlynn was exposed to asbestos while working as a shipfitter, laborer, and maintenance laborer at various locations in and around New York City. The plaintiff further alleged that McGlynn’s mesothelioma was caused by his occupational exposure to asbestos from work done on asbestos-containing valves manufactured by the defendant. Specifically, McGlynn testified that these valves were…  

Friction Defendants Granted Summary Judgment on the Issue of Causation

On August, 2, 2017, Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Julianne Capetola granted various defendants’ motion to renew and re-argue the court’s prior denial of the defendants’ combined Frye/summary judgment motions as to the issue of causation. Upon renewal, the court granted summary judgment to the defendants. By way of background, plaintiffs Giulio Novello and Rosaria Novello brought suit in the Nassau County Supreme Court seeking damages for personal injuries against various automotive-related defendants. The plaintiffs contended that Novello’s lung cancer diagnosis was causally related…  

Brake and Talc Supplier Successfully Move to Dismiss on Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

Following up on prior ACT posts as to the Hodjera suit out of the Western District of Washington, the court granted motions for summary judgment filed by defendants Honeywell International  and Imerys Talc America Inc. under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c) for lack of personal jurisdiction. The court reiterated that due process requires a district court to have personal jurisdiction over a defendant in order to adjudicate a claim against it. Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S. Ct. 746, 753 (2014).  Further, the plaintiffs…  

Each and Every Exposure Theory Insufficient to Prove Specific Causation in South Carolina Federal Court

This decision addresses a similar issue from two different cases and therefore was decided within the same order. Both sets of plaintiffs offered the opinions of Carlos Bedrossian, MD to provide evidence of specific causation. For a brief factual background, plaintiff John E. Haskins served in the U.S. Navy as a fireman aboard the USS Coney. Haskins was diagnosed with mesothelioma in November of 2014 allegedly caused by his cumulative exposure to asbestos from working with and around asbestos-containing products manufactured or distributed by the…  

Generic Expert Report Insufficient to Satisfy Summary Judgment Causation Standard

Plaintiff James Blair as the administer of the estate of Walter Godfrey, Jr. filed suit against defendant Cleaver-Brooks in the Superior Court of Delaware claiming that the decedent was exposed to asbestos from the defendant’s boilers and a result, was diagnosed and ultimately passed away from lung cancer. As the sole product identification witness, Walter Godfrey, Jr. testified to working with Cleaver-Brooks boilers at various locations between 1977 and 2013 while employed with Connecticut Boiler Repair. The defendant moved for summary judgment and argued, among…  

Appellate Division Grants Temporary Stay on NYCAL CMO

On July 19, 2017, Justice Ellen Gesmer of the Appellate Division, First Department generally granted various NYCAL defendants’ order to show cause seeking a temporary stay of the implementation of a new NYCAL Case Management Order (CMO), which was issued by prior NYCAL Justice Peter Moulton. The order provides for a minor exception to the temporary stay. The order includes a briefing schedule for the motion seeking a stay of the New CMO during the pendency of the NYCAL defendants’ appeal from the NYCAL CMO…  

Summary Judgment Overturned as Lab Suppliers Found to Have Burden of Causation

Plaintiff Eileen A. O’Connor was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma allegedly caused from exposure to equipment containing asbestos while working at a research lab from approximately 1975-79. The plaintiff filed suit in February 2015 against several defendants, including suppliers of various products used at this research lab. Supplier defendants moved for summary judgment arguing, among other things, that the plaintiffs failed to identify them as the suppliers of the asbestos-containing products in question. The Supreme Court granted the defendants’ motions dismissing the complaint against them, finding…  

Registered Agents Found Not to be Enough to Establish Personal Jurisdiction

Plaintiff Willie Everett, resident of Missouri, brought suit in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, claiming personal injuries after he allegedly inhaled, ingested, or otherwise absorbed asbestos fibers and/or asbestiform fibers emanating from certain products he was working with and around which were manufactured, sold, distributed, or installed by the defendants. The defendants removed the case to federal court on January 19, 2017. The respective Petition contends the defendants maintained registered agents in the state of Missouri and engaged in business in…  

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Reaffirms Betz Decision Rejecting Each and Every Exposure

In December of 2010, a Philadelphia jury awarded a verdict in the amount of $14.5 million to the widow, and executrix of the estate, of James Nelson. Nelson had previously developed mesothelioma and passed away at age 54 in 2009. The defendants appealed the verdict, arguing that the plaintiff failed to meet the sufficient standard of causation under Pennsylvania law. The defendants specifically argued that the trial court improperly allowed plaintiff’s expert to testify that each and every exposure must be considered a substantially contributing…  

Federal Court Defines “Other Paper” in Removal Statute § 1446

The plaintiff filed a petition for damages in the 18th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Iberville on February 23, 2017, and named Avondale, among others, as a defendant. The plaintiff alleged he contracted mesothelioma during his employment with Avondale caused by “dangerously high levels of toxic substances, including asbestos and asbestos containing products, in the normal course of his work.” Defendant Avondale filed a notice of removal to the United States District Court of Louisiana on April 28, 2017 under the federal…  

Successor Liability Decision Reversed in Oregon

The plaintiff appealed the trial court’s granting of the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on successor liability. This suit involves the plaintiff’s exposure to asbestos from his work in Portland shipyards during the 1950s. The defendant moved for summary judgment on the ground that any of its liabilities “that may have existed prior to 1965 were transferred to another company” and, therefore, it could not be held liable for the alleged injuries suffered prior to that transfer. The plaintiff appealed this decision arguing that the…  

Plaintiff’s Mesothelioma Claims Barred by Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act

In a consolidated matter, three of the plaintiffs, Diane Jacobs, Katrina Masephol, and Janice Seehar (the Weyerhaeuser plaintiffs), filed claims against various defendants after developing mesothelioma.  Each had worked for Weyerhaeuser for years in close contact with asbestos.  As such, in order to get around Wisconsin’s Workers Compensation Act, Wis. Stat. § 102.03(2), which provides the “exclusive remedy against the employer” for work-related injuries, the plaintiffs argued that their asbestos-related injuries were not caused on the job, but at home and in the community, and…  

Maryland Court Affirms Application of Statute of Repose in Asbestos Matter

On December 13, 2013, plaintiff James F. Piper was diagnosed with mesothelioma and filed suit in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on March 26, 2014 for damages caused by his occupational asbestos exposure. Piper worked as a steamfitter at the Morgantown Generating Station in Woodzell, Maryland. In early 1970, defendant Westinghouse installed a turbine generator at this site to which the specifications called for the use of insulation containing asbestos. Piper testified that while he did not work directly on the installation of the…  

Louisiana Court of Appeal Finds $500K Jury Verdict Not Enough

Plaintiffs Frank Romano, Sr. and Lynne Rome Romano filed suit in the Civil District Court, Orleans Parish against a number of defendants on September 12, 2014, after Romano contracted mesothelioma allegedly caused from occupational asbestos exposure. For a brief background, Romano grew up in Marrero, Louisiana and lived about two blocks away from the Johns-Manville Corporation’s plant for 20 years before he went away for college. As a result of this Johns-Manville connection, two defendants filed a third party demand against CRMC, a successor in…  

NYCAL Justices Appointed to First Department-Appellate Division

On May 22, 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) Supreme Court Justices Cynthia S. Kern and Peter H. Moulton to the First Department-Appellate Division. Associate Justice Rolando Acosta was designated to the Presiding Justice of this Appellate Division and Supreme Court Justices Jeffrey Oing and Anil Singh will fill the remaining Associate Justice vacancies. The First Department covers New York and Bronx Counties. Justice Cynthia S. Kern has been a justice in the 1st Judicial District of…  

Sufficient Exposure Found to Reverse Prior Summary Judgment Decision in Favor of Asbestos Supplier

In October 2010, the plaintiff, Thomasina Fowler, individually and as administrator of the estate of Willis Edenfield (the decedent), brought a wrongful death and product liability action in the Superior Court of New Jersey against various defendants. The plaintiff alleged the decedent passed away from mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure associated with defendants’ products. The complaint was filed after the decedent’s death and he was never deposed. Therefore, during discovery, the plaintiff produced two witnesses to testify as to the decedent’s occupational history. The decedent…  

Missouri Appeals Court Affirms $10M Punitive Damage Award Against Valve Manufacturer

Jeannette G. Poage, the plaintiff, filed a products liability suit against defendant Crane Co. in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, alleging that her husband, James E. Poage, suffered personal injuries and wrongful death from mesothelioma, which was caused from Mr. Poage’s work with the defendant’s products. Mr. Poage served in the U.S. Navy from 1954-58 as a machinist on the USS Haynesworth where he helped maintain the valves on the ship that required replacing gaskets and packing. The plaintiff alleged that…  

$3M Judgment Affirmed Finding Sufficient Evidence to Show Specific Causation Against Cement Supplier

On March 22, 2017, in the Supreme Court of New York, Oneida County, a $3M judgment was awarded to plaintiff Nicholas Dominick for injuries sustained due to exposure to asbestos associated with the defendants’ products. The defendants appealed from the judgment entered upon a jury verdict finding the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos from products supplied by the defendants, that they failed to exercise reasonable care by not providing a warning about the hazards of exposure to asbestos with respect to their products, and that…  

Employer Found to Have Duty to Prevent Reasonably Foreseeable Injuries in Take-Home Exposure Case

Barbara Bobo was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma in 2011. Her husband, James Bobo, worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) from 1975-1997 as a laborer and labor foreman, primarily at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Athens, Alabama. Mr. Bobo was previously diagnosed with asbestos-induced lung cancer but passed away from a heart attack in 1997. Mrs. Bobo passed away in 2013 from mesothelioma, and prior to her death, she filed a lawsuit against TVA and eight other defendants alleging “take-home” asbestos exposure, from…  

Roofing Cement Manufacturer Granted Summary Judgment Based on Insufficient Evidence of Exposure

Plaintiffs Henry Stowers and his wife Laura Stowers filed suit in the Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle County, alleging that Henry Stowers was exposed to asbestos from various defendants’ products which caused his lung cancer. Stowers, as the plaintiffs’ sole product identification witness, testified that between 1985-87, Stowers was a self-employed roofer. His work included building cabinets and removing/placing old shingles on roofs with new ones. Stowers stated that the new shingles were made by Owens-Corning and Heritage but he was aware of the…  

Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment on Failure to Warn Claims

Plaintiff Gail Hart, executor of the estate of the decedent Alva Coykendall (the plaintiff), filed suit alleging that her husband worked with a substantial amount of asbestos-containing brake and clutch friction materials manufactured by various defendants. Prior to his death, Coykendall was deposed and testified that he did work as an uncertified mechanic from approximately 1972 through 2014. Coykendall further specified he performed work on brakes and clutches which included exposure to brake dust when working on vehicles that did not require a full brake…  

Missouri Court of Appeals Finds Totality of Circumstances Standard Sufficient to Prove Causation under Wisconsin Law

Plaintiff Jean Urbach filed suit against 29 defendants on claims of negligence, strict liability, willful and wanton misconduct, and loss of consortium arguing that the defendants’ products caused her husband, Keith Urbach, to be exposed to asbestos, develop mesothelioma, and ultimately was the cause of his death. The plaintiff argues that Urbach was exposed to and inhaled friable asbestos fibers during his career as an electrician from 1963 to 2001. Urbach was diagnosed with mesothelioma in August 2011 and passed away in February 2012. The…  

Summary Judgment Granted to Valve Manufacturer Based on Insufficient Evidence of Exposure

The plaintiff filed suit in the Superior Court of Rhode Island, Providence for personal injuries and wrongful death alleging plaintiff’s decedent use of asbestos products with defendant’s valves were foreseeable to the defendant and, under a negligence theory, the defendant failed to warn of the associated hazards. The defendant moved for summary judgment under Maine Law, to which both parties agreed upon, on November 16, 2016, and argued that the plaintiff failed to offer, and have no reasonable expectation of offering any evidence that plaintiff’s…  

Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal in Federal Court Without Prejudice; Allows Plaintiffs to Refile in State Court

Plaintiffs Richard Zanowick and Joan Clark-Zanowick filed suit in state court in July 2014. The defendants timely removed the case to federal court on diversity grounds a month later. With the case now in federal court, Richard Zanowick passed away on October 12, 2014. The plaintiffs filed and electronically served a notice of his death on November 17, 2014. Pursuant to Rule 25(a)(1), the plaintiffs were required to file a motion to substitute a new party for Richard Zanowick within 90 days, or in this…  

Baltimore Jury Awards $14.5M to Former Steamfitter in Mesothelioma Claim

Plaintiff William E. Busch, Jr.  filed suit against various defendants alleging asbestos exposure between 1967 and 1976 from both his work as a steamfitter and from home renovation projects. Busch, Jr. was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March of 2016 and filed suit shortly thereafter on April 11, 2016 under Case No. 24X16000151. On February 16, 2017, following a three week trial presided by Judge Shannon Avery in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, the jury returned a verdict in plaintiff’s favor on counts of negligence…  

Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment for Automotive Defendant for Lack of Causation

Plaintiffs Stephen and Marilyn Charlevoix brought this asbestos-related action against various defendants, including Fiat Allis North America, on July 10, 2015, in the Delaware Supreme Court. They alleged that Stephen Charlevoix developed mesothelioma as a result of naval and occupational exposure to asbestos between 1961 and 1978. During this time, Charlevoix worked as boiler tender, maintenance worker, and equipment installer. Charlevoix also ran his own logging business from the late 1960s up until the filing of the lawsuit at issue. The case was removed to…