Premises Owner Obtains Summary Judgment Based on Lack of Vicarious, Strict, and Direct Liability

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, July 6, 2020

In Lopez v. McDermott, Inc., pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Exxon Mobil moved for summary judgment. In the operative complaint, the plaintiffs allege that Mr. Lopez (the plaintiff) was exposed to asbestos-containing products while employed as a welder/pipefitter at Kellogg Brown & Root between 1973 and 1986, which caused him to develop malignant mesothelioma. With regard to Exxon, the plaintiffs’ claims against them sounded in …

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Court Reverses Grant of New Trial, Affirms Defense Verdict for Electrical Product Manufacturer

Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, June 29, 2020

In Estes v. Eaton Corp., 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 594, the Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District reversed an order granting a new trial, and affirmed a defense verdict for Eaton Corporation. In this case, the jury heard the trial court case, and returned a defense verdict. However, the trial court granted the plaintiff a new trial on the ground of insufficient evidence. Eaton appealed the new trial order on multiple …

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Court Grants Third-Party Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss

In Jack Papineau and Holly Papineau v. Brake Supply Company, Inc., et al., the Court recently granted a third-party defendant’s motion to dismiss a third-party complaint. Plaintiff Jack Papineau (“Papineau”) alleged that he developed malignant mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos from his employment at Smith Coal, and sued four defendants. After the action was filed, one defendant filed a third-party action against Rudd Equipment for common law indemnity and apportionment under K.R.S. Section 411.182. In its motion to dismiss the third-party complaint, Rudd Equipment …

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Dryer Felt Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for Personal Jurisdiction Denied

United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina, February 28, 2020

United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina recently denied a dryer felt defendant’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. The plaintiffs filed a lawsuit after William Brock was employed as an electrician and maintenance worker at RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company in Winston-Salem for over 30 years, and developed mesothelioma after exposure to various asbestos-containing materials. The dryer felt defendant moved to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2). …

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Failure to Warn: To Whom and How Does it Apply?

As we have seen nationwide, plaintiffs assert claims against various types of defendants in asbestos litigation, including product manufacturers, suppliers, and premises owners. Even further, some of the product manufacturers may or may not have actually manufactured asbestos-containing products, whereas others’ products merely required the use of asbestos-containing component parts. Even more proliferating as to the possible types of claims, there are different standards related to the plaintiffs with direct asbestos exposure versus take-home cases, where the individual injured never worked directly with or around …

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Court Grants Summary Judgment for Furnace Manufacturer Based on Lack of Evidence of Exposure

NEW YORK – On January 24, 2020, the Honorable Deborah Chimes granted Foster Wheeler, LLC’s motion for summary judgment in the Schuman case. The plaintiff, Patricia Schuman, executrix for the decedent , Matthew Schuman, filed suit alleging that the decedent died of mesothelioma as a result of his exposure to asbestos. The decedent passed away prior to being deposed in this action, but was deposed in March 2003 in a separate action for his damages related to pleural plaques. The plaintiff argued that the decedent …

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Court Grants Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Cross-Claims Based on Sovereign Immunity Doctrine

In Carey Gomez v. Aardvark Contractors, Inc. et al., the court recently opined regarding a defendant’s motion to dismiss in an asbestos-related action. The plaintiff filed suit in March 2018, alleging asbestos exposure from multiple sources, including his own work as a plumber from 1988 through 2011, as well as secondarily through his father’s employment at the Avondale Shipyards in the 1960s. The plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which led to his petition of damages against multiple defendants. Two defendants filed their answers, affirmative …

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$8 Million Plaintiffs’ Verdict in Monroe County

On November 15, 2019, a Monroe County jury returned an $8 million verdict in the Wayne Meissner case, involving a 73-year-old plaintiff who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in August 2018. According to the plaintiff’s answers to interrogatories, he alleged asbestos exposure from home remodeling work from 1963 to 1966, as well as from work for Keene Insulation in 1967 and Eastman Kodak from 1967 to 1979. There was one defendant, a construction contractor, which remained at trial at the time of the verdict.

The jury …

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Court Denies Plaintiffs’ Motion to Compel Supplemental Discovery Against Defendant

In McCallister v. McDermott & Co., Inc., et al., the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana recently ruled on the plaintiffs’ motion to compel discovery directed to Armstrong International, Inc., requesting supplemental responses to interrogatories and requests for production. The plaintiffs initially served requests to Armstrong, which were responded to in a timely manner. Several months after receiving the responses, the plaintiffs’ counsel emailed Armstrong’s counsel, arguing that the responses were deficient and required supplemental responses within seven days. On …

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Appellate Court Affirms Order for New Trial and Denial of Post-Judgment JNOV

CALIFORNIA — Following the conclusion of an extensive trial and creation of a special verdict form, the jury deliberated and rendered a special verdict in favor of one plaintiff, awarding substantial economic and noneconomic damages. However, the trial signed a judgment in favor of the defendant. Post judgment, the trial court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV), but granted the plaintiffs’ motion for a new trial. The Court of Appeal for the Second District, Division 4 of California affirmed the post-judgment …

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