Court Grants Remand Based on Lack of Complete Diversity

United States District Court, Southern District of Illinois, February 20, 2020

ILLINOIS – The plaintiffs, Arland and Dina Wieland, originally filed the instant matter in the Circuit Court of the Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, alleging that Arland sustained injuries due to asbestos exposure. Trial in the matter started on Feb. 20, 2020 and on Feb. 19, the defendant ArvinMeritor removed the matter, asserting diversity jurisdiction. The plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for remand. 

The plaintiffs are citizens of New Mexico. In their notice of removal, ArvinMeritor …

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Plaintiffs Awarded $750 Million Punitive Damages in Talc Trial

NEW JERSEY – In a case previously covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker, the plaintiffs were awarded $750 million during the punitive damages portion of the trial. The jury had already awarded $37.2 million in compensatory damages, and per New Jersey law, the punitive damages were reduced to $186 million, five times the compensatory award.  As further details emerge, we will update this post.…

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Plaintiffs’ Motion to Remand Granted Due to Untimely Notice of Removal by Bankrupt Defendant

NEW YORK – On Nov. 29, 2016, the plaintiffs, Anna and Guido Nocelli, both citizens of New York, filed an action in the Supreme Court of New York alleging 11 causes of action related to Anna Nocelli’s, alleged asbestos-related disease. The initial complaint named multiple defendants, including the Union Carbide Corp., that were citizens of New York. The plaintiffs allege they were legally barred from naming Kaiser Gypsum Company  as a defendant in the initial complaint because Kaiser filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in …

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Pennsylvania Personal Jurisdiction Update

The past three years have seen the scope of personal jurisdiction challenges expand on a national level, and Pennsylvania is no exception. Two areas in particular in Pennsylvania, jurisdiction by consent and jurisdiction by registration, have been tackled by both the state and federal courts in the Commonwealth. There have been inconsistent rulings in the courts, and there is potential for a continued sea change in this particular area of jurisprudence based on the outcome of a currently pending appeal in the Pennsylvania Superior Court.…

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Plaintiffs’ Civil Conspiracy Claims Fail Due to Established Illinois Precedent

ILLINOIS — In John Jones et al. v. Pneumo-Abex LLC, et al., the Supreme Court of Illinois ruled on consolidated appeals of Owens-Illinois, Inc. and Pneumo Abex LLC regarding conspiracy claims related to suppressing information about the dangers of asbestos. Approximately 20 years ago, this court held that jury verdicts entered against Owens Corning and Owens-Illinois based on claims of civil conspiracy could not stand and that those defendants were entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The appellate court reached the same …

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Court Reverses Judgment Against Garlock Based on Causation, But Affirms Against Premises Owner

TEXAS – In Union Carbide Corporation and GST Settlement Facility v. Oscar Torres and Dora Torres, the Court of Appeals of Texas, Corpus-Christi-Edinburg ruled on an appeal filed by appellants GST Settlement Facility, successor-in-bankruptcy to Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC and Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) following a jury trial in favor of appellees. The appellees lawsuit alleged that Oscar Torres developed mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos while working at a UCC chemical plant with Garlock gaskets. UCC appealed based upon the …

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Plaintiff’s Claims Time Barred Against Defendant After Expiration of Tolling Agreement

NEW YORK – The defendant Union Carbide Company (UCC) entered into a tolling agreement with the plaintiff’s former counsel that terminated on December 31, 2009. The plaintiff filed the instant matter on July 30, 2013, well after the two year deadline for filing a wrongful death action and three year deadline for filing a personal injury action based on exposure to asbestos. UCC filed for summary judgment based on those facts, which the trial court granted.

The plaintiff’s appeal centered on the argument that the …

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Refinery Defendants Owed No Duty of Care to Plaintiff Under 1954 Agreement with Iranian National Oil Company

CALIFORNIA – The plaintiff’s decedent, Farid Malek, died from mesothelioma after working almost 30 years at the Abadan oil refinery in Iran. Mary Malek, Farid’s surviving spouse, filed suit on his behalf. The matter is one of a number of coordinated asbestos-related actions in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. The Maleks immigrated to the United States in 1981 and settled in California. Defendants Chevron USA, Inc. and Texaco, Inc. (Chevron/Texaco) and ConocoPhillips Company (CPC) filed for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. …

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Georgia Declines to Accept Duty to Warn of Another Manufacturer’s Product Theory

GEORGIA — In their consolidated appeal, the Court of Appeals of Georgia considered whether the plaintiff, Leisa Davis sufficient evidence to create an issue of fact that her deceased husband, John Davis was exposed to asbestos-containing products manufactured by John Crane, Inc. (JCI) and FMC Corporation (FMC) during his employment at a fiberboard mill. JCI and FMC were both granted summary judgment by the trial court.

The plaintiff contends that summary judgment was improper for JCI because she met her burden by showing her husband …

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Unclear Corporate Representative Topics Leads to Grant of Protective Order for Brake Manufacturer

WASHINGTON – In a case extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker, the defendant Pneumo Abex  filed a motion for protective order in reply to the plaintiff’s Third Amended Notice of 30(b)(6) deposition of Abex. The first 30(b)(6) notice identified 71 topics, and after a meet and confer, was whittled down to 34. Abex agreed to tender the witness for 32 of the 34 topics, and filed the instant motion.

The two disputed topics were:

  1. Abex’s corporate values and codes of conduct regarding the
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