Scott J. McDowell

All articles by Scott J. McDowell

 

Submission of Conflicting Expert Reports Leads to Denial of Summary Judgment in Talcum Powder Case

The plaintiff Donna Olson filed suit against the defendants Johnson and Johnson and Johnson and Johnson Consumer Inc. (defendants) alleging she developed pleural mesothelioma as a result of exposure to cosmetic talcum powder, including baby powder and Shower to Shower from 1953-2015. Additionally, the plaintiff claimed exposure from her mother’s application of the same. Ms. Olson stated in deposition testimony that there were no warnings. However, she conceded that she heard about a “possible link to ovarian cancer” in 2015. The defendants moved for summary…  

New Jersey Supreme Court to Review Apportioned Asbestos Verdict in Meso Case

NEW JERSEY — The New Jersey Supreme Court will review whether a recent judgment reduced by allocation amongst 9 companies should be retried. The judgment was rendered in favor of a widow, Donna Rowe, whose husband died of mesothelioma. Mr. Rowe allegedly came into contact with asbestos products while repairing and installing heating equipment. Several defendants settled and therefore did not attend trial. As a result, the trial court admitted certified discovery answers and deposition testimony as the settling defendants’ witnesses were determined to be…  

Lack of Successor Liability Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Shipping Defendant

WASHINGTON — The plaintiffs filed suit against Maersk Line alleging their decedent, Mr. Klopman-Baerselman, was exposed to asbestos from 1955-1959 while working as a merchant marine onboard the Rotterdam Lloyd. The plaintiffs named Maersk as a successor in interest to the Royal Rotterdam Lloyd. The defendant moved for summary judgment arguing that it had no connection to the Rotterdam Lloyd. The plaintiff sought discovery including the deposition of Defendant’s corporate representative Steven Hadder. In the meantime, The defendants removed the case and Maersk moved for…  

Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Leads to Dismissal for Industrial Supply Defendant

NEW YORK — The plaintiff filed suit in New York against Grainger Inc. (Grainger) alleging her decedent, Myron Miller, passed from mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos for which Grainger was liable. Specifically, Mr. Miller was alleged to have been exposed to packing and gaskets while refurbishing and selling used equipment he bought from liquidation sales from 1980-1987. Mr. Miller resided in Georgia from 1973 but would travel to New York later to purchase used parts. Grainger, an Illinois corporation, moved to dismiss…  

General Denial Insufficient Objection to Personal Jurisdiction in NYCAL

NEW YORK — Wayne Gibson alleged that he developed mesothelioma in part from occasional work assisting mechanics with brakes, clutches and gaskets on Mack and Kenworth trucks while working as a driver for a Virginia based trucking company. With the exception of a six month stint in the Navy, Gibson never lived in the state of New York, nor was he exposed to asbestos in New York. The defendant Mack Truck, Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation with its principal place of business in North Carolina filed…  

Defendant Survives Dismissal of its Claims for Contribution and Indemnification

VIRGIN ISLANDS — Litwin Corporation (Litwin) filed suit against General Engineering Corporation (GEC) seeking contribution and indemnification related to over a hundred asbestos suits filed against Litwin in the United States Virgin Islands. Prior to suit, Litwin settled with the claimants. Litwin then sought contribution and indemnification to mitigate its settlement costs. GEC moved to dismiss the complaint and Litwin responded in opposition. The case was reassigned because of its similarity with the claims pending with a case known as In re : Kelvin Manboth  

Lack of Exposure Evidence Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Railroad Defendant

IDAHO — The plaintiffs filed suit against Union Pacific Railroad (Union Pacific) alleging that Rollie Stephens had brought asbestos home on his work clothes which caused his son, William, to develop mesothelioma. Specifically, the plaintiffs argued that Rollie Stephens was exposed to asbestos from his work at the Weiser roundhouse working on steam locomotives that contained insulation. Union Pacific moved for judgment as a matter of law. The plaintiff moved for summary judgment as to affirmative defenses. The court began its analysis with the standard…  

Plaintiff’s Request for Reconsideration of Granting of Summary Judgment Denied in Railroad Take-Home Exposure Case

WASHINGTON — In an update to a case previously reported by Asbestos Case Tracker, The plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration of the Court’s Order granting summary judgment for Union Pacific Railroad has been denied. By way of background, the plaintiffs alleged that Mr. Jack was secondarily exposed to asbestos from the work clothes of his father who worked at Union Pacific Railroad. The plaintiffs argued that the court failed to properly review 1) information provided by the plaintiffs’ expert Dr. Barry Castleman; and 2) the court…  

Remand Granted After Shipyard Defendant Fails to Establish Causal Nexus Required By Federal Officer Removal Statute

LOUISIANA — The plaintiffs filed this action against many defendants including Huntington Ingalls (Avondale) alleging their decedent contracted mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working at Avondale Shipyard from 1964-1972. Avondale removed the case asserting Federal Officer Removal Statute. The plaintiff moved to remand arguing that Avondale could not satisfy the elements required under Federal Officer Removal Statute. According to the court, Avondale must show that it 1) that the person is within the meaning of the statute 2) that it has…  

Elements for Removal Found Under Federal Officer Jurisdiction in Take-Home Mesothelioma Case

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff filed suit against several defendants including Kaiser Aluminum (Kaiser) and Huntington Ingalls (Avondale) alleging her mother, Dolores Punch, contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos while washing the work clothes of her husband and son. Mr. Punch worked as a pipefitter and welder at Avondale Shipyard from 1948-1960 and at Kaiser Aluminum from 1961-1967 handling the same material. The decedent’s son also worked as a helper and pipefitter at Avondale from 1976-1979.  Avondale removed the suit to federal court asserting the Federal…  

Lack of Federal Officer Subject Matter Jurisdiction Leads to Grant of Remand and Award of Fees

The plaintiff filed this action alleging he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. Specifically, The plaintiff claimed exposure while serving in the United States Navy onboard the U.S.S. Tortuga from 1956-1959. Defendant Aurora Pump Company (Aurora) removed the case the federal court asserting Federal Officer Removal. The plaintiffs moved to remand. The court began its analysis by stating that removal may be invoked when a defendant establishes that 1) that it is a person within the…  

Former Speaker of the New York State Assembly’s Motion to Continue Bail and Stay Fine Denied in Part

NEW YORK — Former Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver moved to continue bail and stay his fine after a jury found him guilty on two counts of honest services mail fraud, two counts of honest services wire fraud, two counts of extortion under color of official right, and one count of money laundering. Silver was alleged to have schemed to received referral fees from a physician in connection with asbestos litigation. Silver’s motion to continue bail was denied as the “Government…  

Multiple Motions for Summary Judgment and Affirmative Defenses of Railroad and Auto Parts Manufacturers Denied in Part and Granted in Part

The plaintiff Patrick Jack filed suit against several defendants alleging he contracted mesothelioma from take-home, bystander and direct exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. The plaintiff’s take-home and bystander exposure was alleged from his father’s work at Union Pacific. He also claimed exposure while serving as a machinist in the Naval Reserve and Navy from 1955-1962 and while working as a machinist at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Also, The plaintiff contended that he was exposed to asbestos while working as a…  

Superseding Cause/State of Art as to Navy’s Negligence and Knowledge of Asbestos Barred Against Sealing Technology Defendant

VIRGINIA –The plaintiff brought this suit against John Crane Inc. (JCI) alleging Mr. Goodrich developed an asbestos related disease for which Defendant was liable. The plaintiff moved in limine to preclude JCI from presenting evidence of the alleged “knowledge or negligence of the Navy.” JCI argued that any failure to warn was not a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s injury based on the Navy’s negligent control of the plaintiff’s work space. Also, JCI took the position that the Navy’s intervening negligence superseded that of…  

Exclusion of Evidence Not an Abuse of Discretion; Judgment for Railroad Defendant Affirmed

MONTANA — The plaintiff filed suit against Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Company (BN) under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) and the Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA). Specifically, Mr. Daley alleged he was exposed to asbestos while working at the Somers rail tie treatment plant from 1967-1986 when it closed. After a seven day trial, a verdict was entered finding BN had not violated FELA or LIA. The laintiff appealed arguing the trial court had abused its discretion on multiple evidentiary issues. The parties stipulated…  

Transfer Granted Where Severance of John Doe Defendants Aids Judicial Economy

DELAWARE — The United States District Court issued a Show Cause Order requiring the parties to show why this matter should not be transferred to the District of Delaware. The plaintiff opposed the transfer arguing that two of the defendants also known as “John Doe” defendants may not be subject to personal jurisdiction in Delaware.  The defendants countered and argued that the plaintiff’s claims against those two defendants, RBC Sonic and Aetna Steel Products Corporation, could easily be severed. The court agreed that claims against…  

Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Minimum Contacts Leads to Dismissal for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

FLORIDA — The plaintiff alleged he was exposed to products manufactured by the defendant or its predecessor from 1975-1977 in Florida. The defendant submitted an affidavit confirming it had no contacts in Florida before 1994. However, its predecessor ran an operations plant in Florida in the early 1980’s, after the alleged exposure. The plaintiff put forth no evidence of minimum contacts other than the allegation of use of defendant’s products in the 1970’s according to the Court. Relying on Southern Wall Products, the Court…  

Failure to Timely Submit Supplemental Expert Report Leads to Denial of Motion for Leave

DELAWARE — The plaintiff moved for leave to submit a supplemental expert report after a change in substantive Ohio law. The court had previously granted summary judgment in favor of four defendants. Specifically, the defendants argued that summary judgment was proper based on the Ohio Supreme Court’s recent decision in Schwartz which found theories advanced on cumulative exposure as invalid to establish substantial factor causation. In the instant matter, The plaintiffs submitted an expert report from Dr. Ginsberg 8 months prior to the deadline imposed…  

Lack of Personal Jurisdiction over Successor-in-Interest Defendant Leads to Dismissal in Environmental Contamination Case

NEW YORK — The plaintiffs filed suit against the defendants alleging damages for environmental contamination within the City of Rochester. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the successors in interest to the defendants caused contamination to their property throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. Defendant Valero Corporation (Valero) moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s second amended complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction. The trial court denied the motion finding that the plaintiffs had established facts that demonstrated justification to “exercise” personal jurisdiction over Valero because “it was…  

Shipyard Defendants Establish a Colorable Federal Defense in Mesothelioma Case; Remand Denied

NEW JERSEY — The plaintiff filed suit on behalf of her decedent Robert Fish alleging he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos products of the defendants. Specifically, the plaintiff believed Mr. Fish was exposed to joiner panels while working onboard the USS Savannah for New York Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. The dfendants removed the matter to federal court asserting the federal officer removal statute. The plaintiff moved to remand. The court began its review by noting the standard for federal officer removal.…  

Denial of Worker’s Compensation Claim by employee of Scotts Miracle Grow Upheld on Appeal.

OHIO — The plaintiff James Bennett filed a worker’s compensation claim for his development of “pleural plaque” disease he attributed to asbestos exposure while working for Scotts Miracle Grow (Scotts). Bennett began receiving benefits for his claim but then filed for additional payments for his recent “asbestosis” diagnosis. The hearing officer denied his claim for asbestosis finding that the plaintiff had not established the disease process. The plaintiff appealed. On appeal, the parties did not dispute that the plaintiff had been exposed to asbestos. Rather,…  

Plaintiff’s Failure to Assert Elements for Fraudulent Misrepresentation Leads to Dismissal for Friction Defendants

NORTH CAROLINA — The plaintiff filed suit against 62 defendants including Ford Motor (Ford) and Hennessey Industries (Hennessey) alleging he was injured as a result of exposure to the defendant’s asbestos containing products or equipment. Ford and Hennessey moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims for fraud and fraudulent misrepresentation arguing that the plaintiff failed to state a claim with respect to those allegations. The plaintiff sought leave to amend his complaint and amended the complaint after the court permitted a more definite statement. Ford and…  

Lack of Personal Jurisdiction over Talc Defendant Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment in Part

FLORIDA — The plaintiff Susan Stevenson maintained suit against several defendants including Imerys Tac America Inc. (Imerys) alleging that her decedent, Judith Minneci, had developed peritoneal mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos contaminated talc and talcum powder. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the plaintiff used Johnson and Johnson baby powder from 1942-1985. Imerys moved for summary judgment arguing that the Court lacked personal jurisdiction over it. The plaintiff responded that two contacts between Florida and the defendant established jurisdiction. First, its predecessor was…  

Remand Denied Upon Plaintiff’s Failure to Properly Disclaim Federal Officer Removal

ILLINOIS – The plaintiff Janice Reinbold filed suit against several defendants alleging her decedent, Gerald Reinbold, developed lung cancer from occupational exposure to asbestos while working as a shipfitter at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, amongst other sources. Defendant Crane Company (Crane) removed the case to federal court asserting Federal Officer Removal. The plaintiff moved to remand. The court reminded the parties of the standard for Federal Officer Removal, and stated that the statute allows removal when “action is brought against the United States or…  

Denial of Worker’s Compensation Benefits Affirmed Upon Plaintiff Failure to Meet Statutory Requirements

NORTH CAROLINA – The plaintiff Edmund Preslar filed for Workers’ Compensation Benefits claiming that he was entitled to compensation under the statute for his development of asbestosis attributed to his work at the Johns Manville Marchville facility from 1967-1968. The commission denied his claim stating that he had not worked long enough to be eligible for benefits under the statute. The plaintiff appealed and his representative was substituted after he passed away from a non-asbestos cause. On appeal, the court noted the standard for commission…  

Federal Officer Removal Statute Found Inapplicable in Negligence Claim Against Shipyard Defendant; Remand Granted

LOUISIANA – The plaintiff, Gregory Brown brought this action against several defendants including Avondale Shipyard (Avondale) claiming that he developed lung cancer from exposure to asbestos while working for Avondale at its shipyard on and off from 1967-1971. Specifically, Mr. Brown worked as a cleanup man, tacker, and insulator helper. He also claimed exposure to asbestos from his employment for other employers from 1965- 1978. The plaintiff was deposed and gave testimony regarding his work on ships while at Avondale but did not state that…  

Summary Judgment Affirmed in Railroad Case Upon Plaintiff’s Failure to Preserve Issue for Appeal

PENNSYLVANIA – The plaintiff, Michael Eorio filed suit against multiple defendants including CBS and General Electric (GE) alleging he contracted lung cancer while working as a railroad employee from 1972-2010. The plaintiff and one co-worker alleged Mr. Eorio had been exposed to asbestos containing products for which CBS and GE were liable. The plaintiff passed away prior to trial and a substitution of the plaintiff was entered. CBS and GE moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted summary judgment as to both defendants and…  

Talcum Powder Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Granted on Civil Conspiracy; Denied as to Punitive Damages

NORTH CAROLINA — American International Industries (AII) was sued by plaintiff Lloyd Bell. The plaintiff claimed his decedent had developed mesothelioma from her use of talcum powder during her work as a hairdresser and her education during beauty school. AII moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims for willful and wanton conduct, malice, conspiracy, and punitive damages. The court began its review with the standard for a motion to dismiss. According to the court, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state…  

Dismissal of RICO Suit Against Plaintiffs’ Firms Affirmed Upon a Finding of Lack of Jurisdiction

ILLINOIS — Plaintiff John Crane Inc. (JCI) brought Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) suits against two plaintiffs’ firms in Illinois alleging the firms conspired to hide evidence related to exposure to other asbestos products throughout discovery in numerous cases. The defendants, the Shein Law Center and Simon Greenstone Pantier Bartlett (Simon), moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction. Shein also moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The District Court dismissed for after determining it lacked personal jurisdiction.…  

Post-Trial Motions Denied Against Both Plaintiff and Defendant on Damages and Judgment as a Matter of Law

WASHINGTON – The plaintiff filed suit against the defendants including Scapa Dryer Fabrics (Scapa) alleging her husband, Mr. Barabin, developed mesothelioma as a result of his work at Crown-Zellerbach paper mill in Camas, Washington. Mr. Barabin worked as a spare hand, which included working directly on the paper machines at the mill. Part of his work including using high pressure hoses to blow dust out of the dryers. Suit was brought against the defendants on theories of product liability design, failure to warn, and negligence.…  

Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Over Defendant Leads to Remand and Dismissal

ILLINOIS — The plaintiff brought this action against General Electric (GE) arguing that he developed mesothelioma from exposure during his work at various locations for Republic Steel from 1961-1999. According to the plaintiff, the work took place in Illinois, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. The plaintiff, a resident of Alabama, filed suit in Illinois. GE moved to dismiss the matter for lack of personal jurisdiction. Specifically, GE argued that the plaintiff’s complaint lacked facts establishing personal jurisdiction through Illinois’ long-arm statute. Moreover, GE took the position…  

Wisconsin’s Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act Found Not Applicable in Successor Liability Case Against Refractory Manufacturer

WISCONSIN — In a follow up to Asbestos Case Tracker’s previous post, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin reversed the Court of Appeals’ decision in a recent mesothelioma case involving allegations of fraudulent conveyance by a successor in interest entity. The plaintiff originally filed suit against several defendants including Fire Brick Engineering and Powers Holding claiming they were responsible for her late husband’s development of mesothelioma. Mr. Springer was allegedly exposed to asbestos from 1963-69. The plaintiff filed her suit against Powers naming it as…  

Lack of Causal Nexus Leads to Grant of Remand Against Shipyard Defendant

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff filed suit against several Defendants including Avondale Shipyards. James Latiolais allegedly developed mesothelioma from his work as a machinist onboard the USS Tappahannock. Avondale removed the case after the plaintiff’s deposition concluded. The removal was made pursuant to Federal Officer Removal Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1442 (a)(1). The plaintiff moved to remand. The court began its analysis by discussing the elements associated with Federal Officer Removal. First, the defendant must meet the criteria of being a “person” which includes corporations like…  

Expert and Fact Witness Evidence Establishes Last Day of Exposure for UPS Worker in Workers’ Compensation Commission Award

NORTH CAROLINA — The plaintiff filed an action under North Carolina Workers’ Compensation for alleged development of mesothelioma by her decedent. Mr. Penager worked as a driver for United Parcel Services (UPS) from approximately 1967-98. It was alleged by the plaintiff that Mr. Penegar drove tractor trailers each day and would walk through the mechanic shop after his shift where workers were using compressed air to clean out dust from brake jobs. The Commission found that the plaintiff’s last date of injury from asbestos occurred…  

Summary Judgment Affirmed For Railroad After Plaintiff Settles and Files Subsequent Suit for Lung Cancer

PENNSYLVANIA — The plaintiff filed a claim for Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) against Conrail for the development of alleged asbestosis in 1997. The parties settled in 2004 and executed an agreement that contemplated a release for “all known and unknown…injuries for any and all forms of cancer…” Years later, the plaintiff developed lung cancer and filed suit alleging the injury was a result of exposure to asbestos for which Conrail was liable. Conrail moved for summary judgment arguing that the claim was barred by…  

Plaintiff Survives Motion to Dismiss Upon Adding Additional Allegations in Amended Complaint

WISCONSIN — The plaintiff filed suit against Weyerhauser and its insurer for alleged emissions of asbestos into the Marshfield, Wisconsin community. Plaintiff Michael Kappel moved to add additional allegations to his complaint. Weyerhauser moved to dismiss. The plaintiffs were substituted upon Mr. Kappel’s passing. Weyerhauser sought dismissal on two separate grounds. First, the defendant argued the plaintiffs did not allege Mr. Kappel’s exposure from work at Weyerhauser in an effort to circumvent the exclusivity rules in the local worker’s compensation statute. The court disagreed as…  

Plaintiff’s Age and Medical Condition Proper Criteria under Statute to Set Trial Preference

CALIFORNIA — The Foxes brought this action against several defendants for Ms. Fox’s development of lung cancer and asbestosis from alleged exposure to asbestos containing products from 1954-63. The plaintiffs moved for trial preference pursuant to Code 36 as Ms. Fox was 81 and suffered from declining health. Ms. Fox had also undergone chemotherapy, which had caused side effects according to the plaintiff’s attorney. Of the 18 defendants, only Metalclad Insulation and Sequoia Ventures opposed the motion. The trial court denied the motion to set…  

Failure to Establish Good Cause Leads to Affirmation of Denial of Additional Expert Disclosure

KANSAS — The plaintiff sued the Budd Company alleging her father, Robert Rabe, developed mesothelioma as a result of occupational exposure to asbestos for which the defendant was allegedly liable. Specifically, Rabe claimed exposure to pipe insulation used on railcars built by the defendant. A scheduling order was entered by the magistrate, which called for the disclosure of experts by June 23, 2012 amongst other deadlines. After that deadline passed, the defendant moved without objection for a modification of the expert disclosure deadline to September…  

Remand Granted After Finding that Government Did Not Direct Safety Operations of Shipyard Defendant

LOUISIANA — The plaintiffs brought this action against several defendants including Huntington Ingalls (Ingalls) alleging that their decedent, Tyrone Melancon, was exposed to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. The plaintiffs asserted that Melancon developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos while working at the Avondale Shipyard from 1965-2002. Ingalls. along with others, removed the case to U.S. District Court on federal officer removal. The plaintiffs moved for remand arguing that defendants were not entitled to such removal. According to the court, removal under federal…  

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Appeal of Former Speaker of New York State Senate; Stage Set for Retrial

NEW YORK — Sheldon Silver’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. Silver appealed part of the Second Circuit’s decision overturning his convictions on corruption charges. That decision overturned Silver’s convictions citing improper jury instructions pursuant to the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. McDonald. Silver’s appeal centered on the money laundering charge. For that charge, he argued that a split exists among federal appeals courts as to the prosecutorial requirement linking a transaction to the suspected crime.…  

Summary Judgment Reversed Against Gasket Defendant Despite Contradictory Declaration

CALIFORNIA — The plaintiffs filed suit against dozens of defendants, including Familian Corporation, alleging that Mr. Turley developed an asbestos related disease for which defendants were liable. Specifically, Mr. Turley alleged that he was exposed to asbestos containing cement pipe, pipe collars, gaskets and elbows made by Familian while working at various Pacific Gas and Electric Company locations. Familian moved for summary judgment. The plaintiffs filed an opposition with a declaration from a witness, Paul Scott, who had not been deposed. The declaration implicated Familian…  

Employer Successfully Asserts Constitutional Challenge to Worker’s Compensation Commission Award

MISSOURI — The plaintiffs brought this claim against employer E.J. Cody Company (defendant) alleging her decedent passed from mesothelioma as a result of his occupational exposure to asbestos for which the defendant was liable. Mr. Casey had worked beginning in 1984 as a tile installer for several companies including the defendant. He retired in 1990 and filed suit for mesothelioma in February of 2015. Mr. Casey passed away prior to hearing. At the commission hearing, the plaintiffs agreed they sought claims under statute 287.200.4 (new…  

Contempt Order Vacated Against Boiler Defendant; Discovery Order Stands

ILLINOIS — Cleaver Brooks filed an appeal of the trial court’s ruling of a “friendly contempt” order against it. By way of background, the plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants arguing that he sustained injuries from working with and around asbestos containing parts associated with boilers. At issue were thousands of index cards specific to Cleaver Brooks’ products. The plaintiff sought those index cards through discovery requests. Cleaver Brooks eventually produced certain index cards after multiple discovery hearings at the trial court level. However, Cleaver…  

Removal Upheld on Government Contractor Defense for Turbine and Gasket Manufacturers

NEW YORK — Plaintiffs Michael and Anne Donohue brought suit against multiple defendants including Westinghouse (CBS) and Crane Co. alleging Mr. Donohue contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos containing products for which the defendants were liable. Mr. Donohue claimed exposure from his time working in the Navy and with the New York Fire Department (NYFD). CBS removed the case one day after the plaintiff’s trial deposition. Crane quickly joined the removal. Both asserted the government contractor defense which shields liability in certain instances. The plaintiffs…  

Plaintiff’s FELA Claim Against Railroad Survives Limitations Challenge

MONTANA — The plaintiff worked for Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Corporation (BNSF) and claimed exposure to amphibole containing vermiculite in that capacity as BNSF transported vermiculite for W.R. Grace. The plaintiff filed suit against BNSF for his asbestos related disease under FELA. The trial court granted summary judgment for the defendant and the plaintiff appealed. Prior to the suit, W.R. Grace filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001. A temporary restraining order (TRO) was immediately issued prohibiting any suits against third parties arising from…  

Bestwall LLC Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

Bestwall LLC, a unit of Georgia Pacific, sought bankruptcy protection under U.S. Chapter 11 early Thursday morning. Bestwall LLC filed the petition as a result of towering costs associated with defending asbestos claims around the nation. The filing comes during a period of time in which both state and federal lawmakers ponder proposals to curb asbestos claims. A company statement indicated that Georgia Pacific is unaffected by the filing.…  

Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Causation and Lack of Opposition Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment

KENTUCKY — Rojelio Surita brought this action against several defendants alleging his decedent, Nancy Surita, developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos containing products for which Defendants were liable. Nancy Surita gave deposition testimony stating that she assisted in brake jobs on the family farm while growing up in Illinois. She also recalled maintenance on vehicles while serving in the National Guard. Later she testified as to working on military trucks. Although she recalled Caterpillar as the manufacturer of the transmissions, she testified that she did…  

Reversal of $72 Million Ovarian Cancer/Talc Verdict on Jurisdiction May Lead to Fewer Asbestos Filings in Missouri

MISSOURI — In a case that could lead to fewer asbestos filings in Missouri, Johnson and Johnson successfully argued that the trial court lacked personal jurisdiction over it after a $72 million dollar plaintiff verdict in an ovarian cancer / talc case. Plaintiff Jacqueline Fox was one of 65 plaintiffs who filed suit against Johnson and Johnson (J and J) and Imerys Talc. J and J is a New Jersey resident and Imerys is a Delaware corporation. Both were sued in Missouri. The plaintiffs alleged…  

Standard Based Approach in Bare Metal Defense Permits Sailors to Recover in Negligence

The plaintiffs filed suit in negligence and strict liability against several defendants arguing their decedents died from mesotheliomas as a result of their exposure to asbestos containing products for which defendants were responsible. Both plaintiffs alleged exposure while working on-board naval vessels. The defendants removed the case to federal court and summary judgment was granted in their favor on the bare metal defense. The plaintiff separately appealed on the issues of negligence. The appeal was remanded to sort out the negligence issue against the backdrop…  

Summary Judgment Granted Where Worker’s Compensation Act Bars Plaintiff’s Claims

NORTH CAROLINA — Plaintiffs filed suit against Alcatel Lucent, as successor in interest to Western Electric and Bell Labs (Alcatel), alleging Mr. Moore developed mesothelioma as a result of his work as a cable puller from 1965-95. Alcatel moved for summary judgment, arguing that the North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Act (Act) prohibited the plaintiffs’ claims. The plaintiffs opposed summary judgment and took the position that the exception laid down by the court in Woodson applied. The court’s analysis began with the standard for summary judgment.…