Finding of Admiralty Jurisdiction Leads to Denial of Gasket Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss

U.S. District for the Eastern District of Virginia

This is a follow up to Asbestos Case Tracker’s recent post on this matter. Plaintiff Herbert Mullinex alleged he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working as a machinist mate in the U.S. Navy from 1969-89. The plaintiff worked aboard multiple ships docked in Norfolk, Virginia and others around the world. Defendant John Crane (JCI) removed the case to federal court based on government contractor defense. JCI then moved to dismiss the …

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Impact of COVID-19 on the United States Court System

Thousands of new coronavirus cases are being identified across the United States each day. Since March, America has seen hundreds of thousands of people testing positive, resulting in thousands of deaths, to date.

In response to public health guidance related to COVID-19 (coronavirus), many U.S. courts (state and federal) have been forced to adjust their operations.  Changes to court operations are being made on a rolling basis, with changes being made day to day, on a state by state basis, with different guidelines on a …

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Remand in Meso Case Denied Upon Finding that Common Defense Exception Inapplicable

U.S. District Court C.D. of Illinois, February 25, 2020

ILLINOIS – The plaintiff sued several defendants alleging that Roy Hicks developed mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were allegedly responsible. Specifically, Mr. Hicks alleged exposure to asbestos while working for the City of Bloomington, where he encountered asbestos from vehicles made by Ford, and others. He also alleged exposure to products from John Crane as a result of his wife’s work at General Electric. As trial approached, the …

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Five Million Dollar Verdict Against Caulk and Tape Manufacturer Reversed for Lack of Evidence of Substantial Factor

ILLINOIS – The plaintiffs brought suit against more than 50 defendants alleging their decedent, Willard Krumwiede, developed and passed from mesothelioma as a result of occupational exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. Specifically, the plaintiffs contended that Krumwiede was exposed to asbestos tape and caulk made by Tremco. Both products were purported to contain chrysotile fibers. According to the plaintiffs, Krumwiede used the products during his career as a window glazer where he installed panes of glass into wood and aluminum frames. …

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Significant Verdict Against Valve Manufacturers in Erie County NY

NEW YORK — A verdict totaling almost $7 million was rendered today in Buffalo NY.  Plaintiff, James Stock, is 60 years old and claims to have had asbestos exposure causing his mesothelioma in the late 1970’s early 80’s while working in a factory.  A verdict was reached against Remaining defendants Jenkins (50%) Bell & Gossett (12%), Warren (12%) and Crane (14%).  Damages included  past pain and suffering – $4.5 Million, future pain and suffering – $1.5 Million (over 1 year), loss of present earnings – …

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Maryland’s Court of Appeals Rules on Applicability of Statute of Repose

MARYLAND — The Maryland Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the Court of Special Appeals in the matter of Duffy v. CBS Corporation, making two holdings relating to Maryland’s Statute of Repose. First, the court held that an injury related to asbestos exposure that underlies a cause of action for personal injury or wrongful death arises at the time of exposure. The court held that the “exposure approach,” as adopted by the Court in John Crane Inc. v. Scribner, 369 Md. 369, …

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Proposed Testimony of Plaintiff’s Expert, Dr. Arnold Brody, Precluded as Being Cumulative

WASHINGTON — In this case, the plaintiff had already presented testimony from occupational and environmental medicine physician, Dr. Carl Brodkin, on the impacts of asbestos on the body. The plaintiff then was looking to call Dr. Arnold Brody to also provide expert opinion on this subject. The defendant objected, arguing that both experts testimony is substantially similar and should be precluded as cumulative. The court agreed.

In its decision, the court outlined the proffered testimony of Dr. Brody and stated that his testimony would have …

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Boiler Manufacturer’s Summary Judgment Reversed; Question of Fact on Product ID and Denial of Bare Metal Defense

CALIFORNIA — In this federal court case, the plaintiffs commenced an action in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania alleging the plaintiff’s decedent, Robert Hilt, was exposed to asbestos from numerous products, including Foster Wheeler boilers, on Navy ships . Foster Wheeler moved for and was granted summary judgment based on the finding that the plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Charles Ay’s, opinion was speculative.  Subsequently all other defendants either settled or were dismissed from the case. The plaintiff appealed the order granting Foster Wheeler summary judgment and …

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Dismissal on Basis of Judicial Estoppel Overturned by Second Circuit

NEW YORK — The Clarks entered into personal bankruptcy in 2010. Their proposed bankruptcy plan consisted of monthly payroll deductions. For five years, the Clarks made each payment. In July 2015, Edward Clark was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He believed he was exposed to asbestos while serving in the Air Force and during his subsequent private sector employment. The Clarks decided to file a personal injury action. They informed their bankruptcy attorney of that fact, as they were unsure whether the bankruptcy schedule needed to be …

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Valve Manufacturer’s Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment Granted Based on Preclusion of Plaintiff’s Expert Witness

SOUTH CAROLINA — In this mesothelioma case, the plaintiff, James Chesher, sued alleging asbestos exposure while serving as a machinist mate and commissioned officer in the Navy from 1965 to 1989. Defendant Crane had moved for and was denied summary judgment. However, Crane’s motion to preclude the plaintiff’s causation expert, Dr. Carlos Bedrossian, was granted. The plaintiff moved for reconsideration of the preclusion of his expert and Crane moved to renew its motion for summary judgment.

The parties agreed that maritime law applied. The court …

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