Nicholas Fox

All articles by Nicholas Fox

 

Summary Judgment Denial Upheld by Kentucky Court of Appeals Denying Application of Workers’ Compensation Bar

In Schneider Electric USA, Inc. v. Paul Williams, as Executor of the Estate of Vickie Williams, the court of appeals affirmed a trial court’s denial of the sole defendant’s motion for summary judgment. In this case, Vickie Williams’ father worked for Schneider Electric USA, Inc., formerly known as Square D Company (Square D), for several years. During that time, she allegedly encountered asbestos brought home on her father’s clothing. Ms. Williams also worked for Square D for a few months as a teenager. She…  

“Dusty Conditions” Alone Not Enough to Defeat Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment

WASHINGTON – In Marietta Dianne Yaw, Individually and as Executor of the Estate of Donald Arthur Yaw v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al, pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, the court recently granted motions for summary judgment for three defendants. The plaintiffs, Donald and Marietta Yaw, filed the lawsuit in May 2018 alleging that Donald Yaw was injured from his exposure to asbestos as a result of his work with and around several defendants’ products.…  

Louisiana Court of Appeal, Fourth Circuit Modifies Trial Court’s Denial of Motion to Quash Trial Subpoenas

LOUISIANA – In McMaster v. Union Carbide Corp., et al, pending in the Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, plaintiff Ronald McMaster filed suit against various defendants alleging that he was exposed to asbestos while employed at Gulf Oil from 1978 to 1980. The plaintiff requested that the clerk of court issue trial subpoenas to multiple corporate defendants, but did not specify the names of any witnesses sought for examination, nor the subject matter of which the witnesses would be examined. Two defendants…  

Asbestos Multidistrict Litigation Judge Rejects Pre-Daimler Third Circuit Authority Finding Personal Jurisdiction Based on Registration as a Foreign Corporation

PENNSYLVANIA – In Re Asbestos Products Liability Litigation, Jackie Sullivan, Executrix of the Estate of John L. Sullivan v. A.W. Chesterton, Inc., et al., the Asbestos multidistrict litigation court recently ruled on a motion to dismiss filed by a defendant. The court granted the motion as it concluded that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over the defendant. The court analyzed the 2014 Daimler AG v. Bauman, decision, which brought about a sea change in the jurisprudence of exercising general personal jurisdiction over a foreign…  

Steam Trap Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion to Exclude Evidence Denied

WASHINGTON – As recently reported on the Asbestos Case Tracker on May 22 and May 28, 2019, in Varney v. Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, et al., the court ruled on several of the defendants’ motions for summary judgment. The plaintiff, Donald Varney, filed suit against numerous defendants alleging exposure to asbestos while working as a marine machinist at multiple shipyards in Washington as well as personal and secondary exposure from automotive work caused his mesothelioma. The complaint was removed to federal court. The court…  

New York City Asbestos Litigation Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson Includes $300 Million Punitive Damages Award

NEW YORK – Johnson & Johnson (J&J) was hit with a $300 million punitive damages award on May 31, 2019, after a jury found the company responsible for a woman’s development of mesothelioma after decades of use of J&J talc bath products. In Donna A. Olson v. Brenntag North America Inc., et al., the jury awarded the plaintiff, Donna Olson, and her husband, Robert Olson, with $25 million in compensatory damages, which brought the total verdict to $325 million. The lawsuit claimed…  

Additional Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment Granted Where Plaintiff’s Affidavit and Related Expert Testimony Ruled Inadmissible

WASHINGTON – As reported on the Asbestos Case Tracker on May 6, 2019, in Varney v. Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, et al., the court ruled on several defendants’ motions for summary judgment. The plaintiff, Donald Varney, filed suit against numerous defendants alleging exposure to asbestos while working as a marine machinist at multiple shipyards in Washington caused his mesothelioma. The complaint was removed to federal court. One day before he passed away, the plaintiff signed an affidavit stating that he worked with various defendants’…  

Court Reverses Grant of Summary Judgment for Two Fire Door Manufacturers

PENNSYLVANIA – In Lamson v. Georgia-Pacific LLC f/k/a Georgia Pacific Corporation, Individually and as Successor-in-Interest to Bestwall Gypsum Company, et al., the Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently reviewed the plaintiff’s (appellant) appeal from an order granting summary judgment to two defendants (appellees) in the case. The trial court had concluded that the appellant failed to demonstrate that he was exposed to asbestos from fire doors manufactured by the appellees. The superior court, held that the appellant submitted sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue…  

Court Partially Grants Two Defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment Based on Expiration of Statute of Limitations Under Washington Law

WASHINGTON — In Deem v. Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, et al., the United States District Court of the Western District of Washington recently ruled on two defendants’ motions for summary judgment. This case involved Thomas A. Deem (Mr. Deem), who worked at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard from 1974 to 1981 as an apprentice and journeyman, and alleged asbestos exposure from 1974 through 1979. Mr. Deem was diagnosed with mesothelioma in February 2015, and died in July 2015. In November 2017, Mr. Deem’s wife…  

Court Denies All Post-Trial Motions of Valve Defendant and Plaintiffs

NEW YORK — In James and Lynn Stock v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al, the Supreme Court of The State of New York, Eighth Judicial District, recently considered the defendant’s and the plaintiffs’ post-trial motions. At the trial of the original case, the plaintiffs James and Lynn Stock (plaintiffs) filed suit for James Stock’s (Stock) mesothelioma allegedly caused by exposure to asbestos while he was employed at New York Wire Mills in Tonawanda, NY from 1979 through 1986. The plaintiffs argued that…  

Railroad Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment Based on Standing Denied

NEBRASKA — In Bettisworth v. BNSF Railway Company, the court denied a defendant’s motion for summary judgment, which argued that the plaintiff was not the properly appointed representative for his late wife’s estate. The plaintiff’s wife was employed by the defendant from 1979 to 2012 as a laborer/hostler at the defendant’s yard in Alliance, Nebraska. During her employment, she was exposed to various toxic and carcinogenic substances, including various solvents, diesel fuel, benzene, creosote, silica dust, and asbestos insulation. The plaintiff alleged that the cumulative…  

Supplemental Depositions from Unrelated Actions Insufficient as Only Evidence of Exposure

NEW YORK — The plaintiff John Spicijaric (decedent) was diagnosed with lung cancer in June 2014, and died one week later. Prior to his lung cancer diagnosis, The decedent was also diagnosed with asbestosis. The decedent was deposed in his asbestosis case in 1985, but was never deposed in the present action. The decedent was a member of the Local 12 Asbestos Workers Union, and remained a member through the early 1990s. The defendant Electrolux Home Products (Electrolux) moved for summary judgment, claiming that plaintiff…  

Summary Judgment Granted to Floor Tile Defendant in Esophageal Cancer Case Due to Insufficient Causation Evidence

New York — The plaintiff was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in October 2013 and filed suit in 2014. The plaintiff identified ten projects where he worked with vinyl asbestos floor tile. In addition to defendant American Biltrite’s (ABI) tile, the plaintiff identified seven other brands of tiles he used throughout his career. The plaintiff could not state which specific tiles were used on any of the ten jobs he described. With regards to ABI, the plaintiff testified that he used their brand of tiles on…  

California Jury Finds Defendant’s Talc Did Not Contain Asbestos

CALIFORNIA — In Blinkinsop v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., a California jury found that a defendant’s talcum powder did not contain asbestos, and therefore rejected the plaintiff’s claims that his use of the defendant’s products caused his mesothelioma. The plaintiff’s case was filed in September 2017, two months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, alleging that his use of personal care products up through the 1980s caused his “likely terminal” illness. Following a five-week trial, a Long Beach jury deliberated for less than…  

Meteorologist’s Opinion Insufficient to Support Environmental Claim to Asbestos; Summary Judgment Granted Superior Court of Delaware

DELAWARE — In Werner Rath v. 3M Company, et al., the court ruled on a defendant Oyj Partek Ab’s (Partek) motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff alleged occupational exposure to asbestos while working as a union carpenter at a number of industrial sites in Delaware and New Jersey. One week before the plaintiff’s deposition was scheduled to take place, the plaintiff’s counsel filed a motion for leave to amend to file an amended complaint joining additional defendants, including Partek. Partek was one, non-exclusive supplier…  

Subjective Generalization Regarding Frequency of Exposure Held Legally Insufficient to Support Jury Verdict

As recently reported on March 28, 2019 on the Asbestos Case Tracker, the First Department of the New York Supreme Court issued a significant causation decision. In Joanne Corazza as Executrix of the Estate of George Cooney v. Amchem Products Inc., et al, the plaintiff sued multiple asbestos related defendants, alleging they were all the cause of Mr. Cooney’s lung cancer. Notably, Mr. Cooney was a two-and-a-half pack-per-day smoker of 52 years prior to his death. The case was tried to verdict over…  

Court Denies Talc Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Transfer

In Shawnee D. Douglas v. Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., Johnson & Johnson filed a motion to dismiss for improper venue, and in the alternative, motion to transfer. This involves a plaintiff alleging that she suffers from malignant peritoneal mesothelioma as a result of her exposure to asbestos from talc-based products. The lawsuit was originally filed in the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit, City of St. Louis. Johnson & Johnson removed the case to federal court on the grounds that diversity of citizenship exists because…