Scott J. McDowell

All articles by Scott J. McDowell

 

Summary Judgment Reversed for Gasket Manufacturer, But Affirmed for Pump Manufacturer

GEORGIA – Leisa Davis filed suit against the defendants John Crane (JCI) and FMC Corporation (for Peerless pumps hereinafter FMC), alleging her husband developed and passed away from mesothelioma as a result of his asbestos exposure to products for which the defendants were liable. Davis worked at the Louisiana Pacific Corporation fiberboard mill from 1984 to 1988 as a laborer and boiler operator. As a laborer, he swept up dust in the mill and removed gaskets and packing from the boilers, pumps, and valves. Davis…  

Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Eliminates $110 Million Dollar Verdict Against Talc Defendants

MISSOURI — $110 million verdict against talc defendants Johnson and Johnson and Imerys Talc North America was overturned by a Missouri appellate court this week. The plaintiff Lois Slemp filed suit against the defendants alleging that she developed ovarian cancer as a result of her use of Johnson and Johnson’s talcum powder products for over 40 years. The trial court found personal jurisdiction based on evidence that a Missouri-based company was used to “manufacture, mislabel and package” the products. Applying the Bristol Myers Squibb decision…  

Plaintiff’s Failure to Raise Triable Question of Fact on Causation Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Talc Defendant

NEW YORK – Marsha Madar filed suit against Colgate-Palmolive, alleging she developed perionteal mesothelioma as a result of her use of Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder in the 1970s. It was undisputed that she shared with her mother and sister just two bottles of Cashmere Bouquet. She also recalled using hundreds of bottles of other talcum powder. Colgate moved for summary judgment arguing that:
  1. The talc in its Cashmere Bouquet did not contain asbetsos
  2. There is no general causation as a matter of law, because even
 

Brake Manufacturer denied Summary Judgment Despite Evidence as to Warnings prior to decedent’s exposure date

MARYLAND – The plaintiffs filed suit alleging John Dugger developed and passed away from mesothelioma as a result of exposure to Honeywell’s Bendix brakes. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged exposure to asbestos while working at his own automobile repair shop, Personal Auto, from 1980-1984 and while working as a mechanic at H and S Bakery from 1980-1982. Honeywell moved for summary judgment. The plaintiff filed a response in opposition to Honeywell’s motion for summary judgment. The parties disagreed as to whether or not Bendix placed warnings…  

Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Exposure to Specific Products Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Roofing Defendants

NEW YORK – The plaintiff, Darlene DiNatale, filed suit against the defendants, Bird Incorporated and Certainteed Corporation, alleging she developed peritoneal mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos in which Bird and Certainteed were liable. Specifically, she claimed that she was exposed to asbestos from cleaning her father’s office. The plaintiff’s father worked as a home improvement contractor for Fillmore Construction. She also alleged that she was exposed to asbestos through the dust that came off of her father’s work clothes. Bird and Certainteed…  

New Jersey Jury Renders $37.3 Million Dollar Verdict Against Johnson and Johnson in Consolidated Talc Cases

NEW JERSEY – A New Jersey jury returned a verdict in the amount of $37.3 million dollars against Johnson and Johnson for combined compensatory damages brought by four mesothelioma claimants. The verdict came after three days of deliberations in a trial that lasted almost two months. The jury was tasked with determining whether Johnson and Johnson’s talc products contained asbestos and whether the plaintiffs’ exposures were a substantial contributing factor in causing their peritoneal mesothelioma. The jury also heard testimony over differing positions regarding asbestos…  

Limitations Challenge on Railroad Worker’s FELA Claim Denied

ILLINOIS — The plaintiff Theresa Romcoe filed suit under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) against the defendants, Illinois Central Railroad Company and Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation dba Metra Rail, alleging that her husband had passed away from esophageal cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos during the course of his employment. Specifically, the decedent had worked in several positions, including as a switchman to conductor from 1974-1984.  The decedent was diagnosed with cancer on September 5, 2013 and passed on November…  

Plaintiffs’ Failure to Establish Causal Connection Upheld in Consolidated Workers’ Compensation Claims

NORTH CAROLINA – The Court of Appeals of North Carolina recently upheld the Worker’s Compensation Commission decisions and findings in 144 consolidated cases. Numerous plaintiffs, including Walter Hinson, Charles Wilson, Douglas Epps, and Bobby James Newell, sought compensation under the worker’s compensation statute for alleged asbestos related illnesses for their work at Continental Tire in Charlotte, North Carolina from 1967-1999. The court focused on the Hinson case and analyzed the commission’s findings, which it later applied to the remaining cases. Hearings began in 2011. At…  

Possibility of Exposure to Asbestos in Cosmetic Talc Not Sufficient to Survive Summary Judgment

WISCONSIN – The plaintiff, Dale Chapp, filed suit against Colgate Palmolive arguing that his late wife, Ruth Chapp, developed mesothelioma from her use of Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder from approximately 1969-the mid-1980s. The plaintiff also alleged that Ruth Chapp was secondarily exposed to asbestos from laundering his work clothes. Colgate moved for summary judgment. The trial court found that Chapp had “not shown more than the mere possibility of causation” and granted summary judgment in factor of Colgate. The plaintiff appealed. On appeal, the court…  

Third Circuit Denies Defendants’ Request for Unlimited Access to Exhibits Submitted to Bankruptcy Trusts

Defendants Honeywell and Ford Motor appealed the District Court’s decision affirming the denial of “unconditional access” to numerous exhibits submitted in connection with “administering nine asbestos bankruptcies.” The court had previously permitted review of the documents for three months with certain limitations. However, unfettered access was denied as doing so would “pose an undue risk of identity theft and exposure to private medical information.” The court concluded that the bankruptcy code permitted protection from disclosure of information that would “create an undue risk of identity…  

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Quells Disagreement Over Bare Metal Defense in Maritime Cases

In the past few years, the bare metal defense has seen inconsistent and nebulous holdings around the nation. The bare metal defense vindicates an asbestos defendant that manufactured a product that was made of only metal without asbestos but later utilized asbestos components within its products. The defense is commonly seen amongst pump and valve manufacturers and also in United States Navy cases, thereby implicating maritime law. Examples of trial courts granting summary judgment for the defense only to be overturned on appeal are readily…  

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Quells Disagreement Over Bare Metal Defense in Maritime Cases

In the past few years, the bare metal defense has seen inconsistent and nebulous holdings around the nation. The bare metal defense vindicates an asbestos defendant that manufactured a product that was made of only metal without asbestos but later utilized asbestos components within its products. The defense is commonly seen amongst pump and valve manufacturers and also in United States Navy cases, thereby implicating maritime law. Examples of trial courts granting summary judgment for the defense only to be overturned on appeal are readily…  

Second Notice of Removal by Pump Defendant Found Timely Despite Administrative Close of Original Action

NEW YORK – The plaintiff Francis Keating filed suit against dozens of companies alleging he contracted lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos containing products for which the defendants were liable. Specifically, he believed he had been exposed to asbestos while working as a machinist in the United States Navy from 1953-1974 and while working for Eastman Kodak and Motorola as a refrigeration technician during the 1970s and 1980s. Aurora Pump Co. contacted the plaintiff and sought the plaintiff’s consent for the entry…  

Claimants Committee Motion to Dismiss Denied by Bankruptcy Court; Finding that Bestwall’s Bankruptcy Reorganization was not Filed in Bad Faith

NORTH CAROLINA – Asbestos claimants (claimants committee) in this Chapter 11 case filed a motion to dismiss the bankruptcy case filed by Georgia Pacific (GP) for its acquisition of Bestwall arguing that the petition was filed in bad faith and established a reorganization that was “objectively futile.” By way of background, GP filed for corporate restructuring in 2017 as a result of “decades long” asbestos litigation liabilities. As many as 64,000 asbestos claims were pending against Bestwall as of the date of the petition alone.…  

Lack of Specific Identification of Exposure Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment for Pump Manufacturer in Naval Case

DELAWARE – The plaintiff Hickman filed suit against several defendants including Air & Liquid Systems Corp. for its line of Buffalo pumps arguing that he developed asbestosis and asbestos related pleural disease as a result of his work with the defendants’ products while working onboard several ships in the United States Navy. Specifically, the plaintiff worked as a fireman onboard multiple naval ships from 1963- 1986. His work led him to encounter a variety of equipment and products including pumps, valves, generators, and insulation. A…  

Jury Verdict on Future Pain and Suffering Found to be Unreasonable Compensation Against Boiler Defendant

NEW YORK – A New York appellate court has vacated the trial court’s entry of judgement of $2 million for future pain and suffering in a recent mesothelioma case and has ordered the plaintiff to stipulate within 30 days to a reduction of future pain and suffering damages to $500,000 or face a new trial on damages. The verdict included a $5 million award for the plaintiff’s past pain and suffering, which was untouched on appeal. Although the plaintiff presented evidence that their future condition…  

Additional Discovery Ordered to Determine Location of Exposure in Facility Defendant’s Personal Jurisdiction Challenge

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff, Frederico Lopez, filed suit against the defendants, alleging he developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos while working as a gasket cutter for Lamons Gasket Company from 1971-1973 and as a pipefitter for Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) from 1973-1986. Lopez passed away on November 9, 2017. The plaintiffs amended their complaint to include ConocoPhillips (Conoco) as a defendant. The amended complaint claimed that Lopez was “exposed to asbestos during his work for KBR at premises/sites owned and/or operated by…ConocoPhillips, as successor…  

List of Asbestos Products Used at Trial to Refresh Plaintiff’s Recollection in Multi-Million Dollar Verdict

NEW YORK – A New York Appellate Court upheld the trial court’s finding that the plaintiff Pietro Macaluso’s use of a list of products to refresh his recollection of alleged exposure to asbestos was proper in a recent multi-million dollar verdict. The verdict was stipulated down to $10 million for pain and suffering, $9 million for Macaluso’s son’s loss of parental guidance, and $10 million for his daughter’s loss of parental guidance. The court also ordered a new trial on damages to $4 million for…  

Shipyard Defendant Obtains Summary Judgment as to Whether Certain Prior Asbestosis Releases Apply to Future Mesothelioma Claim

LOUISIANA – The family of Joseph Savoie, Jr. filed suit against multiple defendants alleging he passed away from mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working at Avondale Shipyards from 1948-1995. Savoie was originally diagnosed with asbestosis in 1990 and settled with several defendants. Years later, he developed mesothelioma. Avondale sought summary judgment on the issue of whether the plaintiff released his future claim for mesothelioma with respect to eight entities with whom he previously settled in his asbestosis action. Avondale’s reasoning for…  

Court of Appeals of New York Rejects Argument that Coke Ovens Are not Products For Purposes of Strict Liability

NEW YORK – The plaintiff, Donald Terwilliger, brought an asbestos suit against multiple defendants. The complaint included a count that Honeywell, as successor in interest to the Wilputte Coke Oven Division of the Allied Chemical Corporation (Honeywell), was strictly liable for emissions coming from its coke ovens at Bethlehem Steel’s Lackawanna Plant in New York. Specifically, Terwilliger alleged that he was exposed to the coke oven emissions while working as a lid man from 1966-1993. He passed away from lung cancer in 2012. At the…  

Lack of Specific Personal Jurisdiction Leads to Dismissal of Alleged Successor to Joiner Contractor

NEW JERSEY – The plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants alleging her decedent developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos containing products used or installed by the defendants including, RBC Sonic. It was alleged that Robert Fish was exposed to asbestos panels installed by a joiner contractor while working at the New York Shipbuilding and Drydock located in New Jersey in 1960. Sonic Industries, Inc. (Sonic) moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of specific personal jurisdiction. The court stated that a plaintiff must “present a…  

Application of Product Line Doctrine Imposes Liability Upon Successor in Interest of Asbestos Supplier

WASHINGTON – The plaintiff, Edward Leren, filed suit alleging that decedent Marvin Leren developed mesothelioma as a result of his employment with Z Brick Company from 1961-1981. It was alleged that Benson Chemical (Benson) supplied Z Brick with raw asbestos used in their decorative bricks. Leren poured the raw asbestos into hoppers to mix the ingredients used to make the bricks. The defendant at trial was Elementis, the successor to Harrisons and Crosfield Pacific, Inc. (HCP). HCP had previously acquired Benson. The jury returned a…  

Substantial Justice is Driving Factor in Decision to Transfer Mesothelioma Case to Colorado

NEW YORK – The plaintiff, Carl Lanz, filed suit in New York against the defendants alleging he developed mesothelioma as a result of his occupational exposure to asbestos. Specifically, Carl Lanz alleged he had been exposed to asbestos while working as an electrician apprentice and electrician for the Public Service Company of Colorado from 1969 -2008. Carl Lanz had never been to New York despite having filed his complaint in New York. General Electric and Union Carbide moved to dismiss the complaint on the basis…  

Denial of Workers’ Compensation Claim Affirmed After Incorrect Standard of Review Applied by Lower Court

GEORGIA – Kevin Sinyard worked as a union pipefitter since 1978; from 1986-1989, the plaintiff worked for the defendant, McKenney’s Inc. at Piedmont Hospital. In 2014, the plaintiff was diagnosed with mesothelioma and he and his wife filed a complaint in Illinois against more than 80 defendants. Although the complaint named several companies and premises owners where he worked after McKenney’s, the plaintiffs did not name McKenney’s as a defendant. The plaintiffs dismissed the Illinois lawsuit without prejudice, and filed workers’ compensation claims against McKenney’s…  

Jury Finds Johnson and Johnson not Liable for Causing Peritoneal Mesothelioma in Talc Case

South Carolina – A Richland County jury found Johnson and Johnson (J&J) not liable in a South Carolina peritoneal mesothelioma case. The plaintiff Beth Anee Johnson alleged that her and her mother’s use of J&J baby powder over the course of two decades caused her disease. J&J attempted to move the case to Delaware to consolidate it with thousands of other cases. However, the case was remanded to South Carolina state court after a finding that the plaintiffs would suffer an injustice since trial was…  

Insurer of Long Defunct Employer May Be Held Liable Under “Enhanced Benefits” in Worker’s Compensation Statute

MISSOURI – The plaintiff passed from mesothelioma in 2015 as a result of alleged exposure to asbestos while working at Valley Farm Dairy Company. Specifically, it was alleged that Vincent Hegger encountered lots of industrial equipment, including fireboxes, boilers, and ammonia compressors while working at Valley Farm. Prior to his passing, Hegger and his children submitted a claim for worker’s compensation under the recently amended statute. The administrative law judge found that the plaintiff could not “elect” coverage under the amended statute because Valley Farm…  

Summary Judgment Granted for Multiple Defendants in Naval Case Based on Failure of Specific Product Identification

DELAWARE – The plaintiff brought suit against several defendants alleging he developed lung cancer from exposure to asbestos while serving onboard the USS Shangri La and USS Edmonds. The plaintiff passed away prior to giving any deposition testimony. The case was removed to federal court by Crane Co. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The plaintiff’s sole fact witness, John Poggenburg, testified that he worked with the plaintiff onboard the USS Edmonds from October 1961 until July 1962. Poggenburg recalled the plaintiff starting as a…  

Plaintiffs Not Entitled to Jury Instruction on General Negligence Due to Lack of Specific Evidence

CALIFORNIA – Philip and Febi Mettias, husband and wife, both died of complications caused by mesothelioma. The decedents’ children (plaintiffs) filed suit against various defendants. As part of their allegations, the plaintiffs alleged Philip Mettias performed as many as 24 brake repairs with Bendix brakes, made by Honeywell and purchased at Pep Boys. The jury returned a special verdict in favor of Honeywell and Pep Boys; the plaintiffs appealed on two contentions:
  1. The trial court erred in not giving general negligence instructions in addition to
 

Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Causation Against Pump Defendant Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment

WASHINGTON – The plaintiffs filed suit against several defendants alleging their decedent, Mr. Klopman-Baerselman developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. The case was removed to federal court. Viking Pump (Viking) moved for summary judgment arguing that the plaintiff could not establish the necessary element of causation. Specifically, Viking argued that the plaintiff had no evidence that he was exposed to a Viking product and therefore he could not prove that Viking’s products were a substantial factor…  

Summary Judgment Granted for Multiple Defendants in W.D. Washington When Plaintiff’s Affidavit Ruled Inadmissible

WASHINGTON — The plaintiff, Donald Varney, filed suit against numerous defendants alleging exposure to asbestos while working as a marine machinist at shipyards in Washington caused his mesothelioma. The complaint was removed to federal court. One day before he passed, plaintiff signed an affidavit stating that he worked with various defendants’ products or products supplied by the defendants, including those of defendants Crosby Valves, Goodyear Tire and Rubber, Foster Wheeler, Air and Liquid Systems, Weir Valves and John Crane, Inc. The plaintiff was not deposed…  

Boiler Manufacturer’s Affirmative Defenses of Sophisticated User and Superseding Cause Dismissed on Summary Judgment

MARYLAND — The plaintiff brought suit against several defendants including Foster Wheeler alleging her decedent, Mr. Morris, developed and passed from mesothelioma as a result of his occupational exposure to asbestos while working at Bethlehem Steel Sparrows Point Shipyard from 1948-1970’s. Foster Wheeler asserted various defenses in its amended answer including the defenses of sophisticated user and superseding cause. The plaintiff moved for summary judgment on those two defenses. The court started its analysis by noting the standard for summary judgment. Summary judgment is appropriate…  

Auto Trade Association Successfully Challenges Plaintiff’s Claims of Specific Personal Jurisdiction

CALIFORNIA — The plaintiff Thomas Toy filed suit against several defendants including National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA) alleging that he developed mesothelioma from the use of its asbestos containing products while maintaining vehicles. NAPA moved to dismiss the matter for lack of personal jurisdiction. The plaintiff opposed the motion arguing that the court had specific jurisdiction under the “stream of commerce theory” or NAPA’s “efforts to serve directly or indirectly the market for asbestos containing products in this State.” Both parties agreed that the court…  

Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Worksite Control Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment in Premises Liability Case”

DELAWARE — The plaintiff Werner Rath brought suit against several premise defendants including Delmarva Power and Light, Four Star Oil and Gas Company, Texaco, Inc. and Sunoco (defendants) alleging exposure to asbestos while working for Catalytic at worksites owned by the defendants. Specifically, Mr. Rath alleged exposure to asbestos from other trades working around him while he built and dismantled scaffolding at the different sites. The other trades were also employed by Catalytic. Relying on several precedent cases, the defendants moved for summary judgment arguing…  

Verdict on Non-Economic Damages Reversed and Remanded with Finding of Joint/Several Liability Against Pipe Manufacturer

CALIFORNIA — In an update to Asbestos Case Tracker’s previous post, the court reversed and remanded this matter ordering a new entry of judgment holding the plaintiffs’ economic and noneconomic damages jointly and severally liable against CertainTeed Corporation (defendant). At the trial level, a jury previously returned a verdict on economic damages in the amount of $776,201 against defendant. The verdict also included $9.25 million in noneconomic damages which was apportioned to defendant at 62 percent with the remaining to other joint tortfeasors. The…  

Orders Dismissing Merchant Mariners’ Claims for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Reversed After Finding of Waiver

OHIO — The appeals for this matter stem from the dismissal of claims filed in the Northern District of Ohio. In 1989 several ship owner defendants moved to dismiss a multitude of merchant mariner claims suits for lack of personal jurisdiction. In sum, the defendants argued that the merchant mariners’ claims for nationwide jurisdiction were invalid. The court found a lack of personal jurisdiction but denied the motions to dismiss and indicated that the court would transfer the cases to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania…  

Workers’ Compensation Exclusivity Provision Leads to Dismissal of Construction Worker’s Complaint

WISCONSIN — Plaintiff Johnson Carter filed suit against Henry Carlson’s Construction Company (HCCC) alleging he suffered “a variety of severe medical symptoms” after exposure to asbestos while working for HCCC as a temporary construction worker. Specifically, he claimed that he was exposed to asbestos during a demolition of a hospital in the late 1980s. He could not recall the name of the temporary agency or hospital, but stated that he was provided a dust mask for the tear-out work. HCCC moved to dismiss the complaint…  

Denial of Motion to Add Additional Defendants Found to be Dispensable Upheld

COLORADO — The plaintiff filed suit against several defendants alleging exposure to asbestos caused their development of mesothelioma. As for the plaintiff Mestas, he alleged exposure to asbestos from the work clothes of his father from 1953-1974. He also alleged direct exposure to asbestos while working on personal vehicles from 1968-1992. The plaintiff Muse sought damages for loss of consortium. General Electric removed the case based on diversity. The plaintiffs sought leave to file an amended complaint arguing that they needed to add four additional…  

Summary judgment by Railroad Defendant Denied; Attorney’s Fees Also Denied Based on Reasonable Grounds to Deny Discovery Admissions

KANSAS — The plaintiff filed suit against the Budd Company (Budd) alleging her decedent passed from mesothelioma for which the Defendant was liable. Specifically, the plaintiff contended that Budd had placed pipe insulation in rail cars which caused her father’s mesothelioma. The parties went to trial and a verdict was returned in favor of the plaintiff. However, the jury apportioned fault and found Budd to be at fault for only 7 percent. The plaintiff then moved for attorney’s fees arguing that Budd should pay $3,726.07…  

Balance of Justice a Factor in Court’s Granting of Motion for Leave to Add Gasket Defendant

WASHINGTON — The plaintiff filed suit against numerous defendants alleging his decedent was exposed to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. The plaintiff sought leave of court to amend the pleadings three times. The instant request to add the defendant DCo LLC was made after the case was removed. The paintiff contends that not adding DCo LLC was an oversight until a family friend testified that he believed that the plaintiff had a box of Victor gaskets in his garage. The plaintiff also believed…  

Lack of Evidence Against Premise Defendants Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment in Mesothelioma Case

NORTH CAROLINA — The plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants including Farmers Chemical and Storage (Farmers) and Schlage alleging he developed mesothelioma from his occupational exposure to asbestos. Specifically, he claimed he was exposed to asbestos while working as a plumber and pipefitter from 1965-1982 for the local union. Farmers and Schlage moved for summary judgment. The court began its analysis and stated that summary judgment is warranted “the movant shows there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is…  

Summary Judgment Denied to Asbestos Clothing Manufacturer Based on Plaintiff ‘s Contradictory Affidavit

OHIO –The plaintiff Donald MacLachlan brought suit against several defendants including American Optical (AO) alleging he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working at the Weirton Steel plant from 1971-2008. He was deposed in 2015 and also alleged exposure to steam turbines manufactured by General Electric. As for AO, The plaintiff testified that he wore asbestos containing thermal gloves and coats manufactured by that defendant beginning in 1979 while working as a cast house helper. The plaintiff was adamant that the…  

Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Leads to Dismissal for Talc Defendants in Meso Matter

ALABAMA — The plaintiff Billie Smith filed suit against the defendants alleging she developed mesothelioma from the use of talcum powder on herself and son from the 1950’s through 2015. The defendants included Cyprus Amax Minerals Company (Amax), Cyprus Mines Corporation (Cyprus), Imerys Tac America Inc. (Imerys) and Johnson and Johnson (J and J). The defendants moved for dismissal based on lack of jurisdiction. In addition to allegations of negligence, wantoness and breach of warranty, the plaintiff claimed that the Imerys defendants (Amax, Cyprus and…  

Failure to Establish Admissible Exposure Evidence Leads to Summary Judgment for Railroad Defendant

TENNESSEE — The plaintiff filed suit against Norfolk Southern Railroad Company (Norfolk) under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) alleging he developed lung cancer as a result of occupational exposure to asbestos. Specifically, the plaintiff worked as a brakeman, trainman, and locomotive engineer from 1965-1999. The plaintiff passed from lung cancer in 2003 and his wife was substituted as the plaintiff. Of interest, the plaintiff’s decedent smoked beginning at age 13 and smoked up to one pack of cigarettes per day at times until 2000.…  

Assertion of Innocent Seller Defense Leads to Dismissal of Auto Supplier in Mesothelioma Matter

MISSISSIPPI — The plaintiff filed suit against A-1 Auto Parts and Repair (A-1) alleging he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos from his work as a mechanic and exposure to talcum powder. A-1 moved for dismissal under Federal Rule 12 (b) 6 arguing that it was an “innocent seller” under Mississippi Products Liability Law (MPLA). The plaintiff did not respond or oppose the motion. The MPLA states that a seller shall not be liable for claims unless the “seller or designer exercised…  

$2.38 Million Dollar Verdict Reached in Action Brought on Behalf of Chemical Compounder

NEW JERSEY — A New Jersey State case, Thomasenia L. Fowler v. Akzo Nobel Chemicals, Inc., et al., No. MID-L-4820-11AS (N.J. Super. Ct., Middlesex Cty.), which was previously covered by ACT, has ended in a plaintiff’s verdict against a raw fiber supplier. On January 22, a Middlesex County jury returned a $2.38 Million dollar verdict in favor of the plaintiff, Thomasina Fowler, individually and as administrator of the estate of Willis Edenfield, but declined to award any punitive damages during the trial’s second phase.…  

Exclusion of the Plaintiff’s Causation Experts Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment in Merchant Marine Mesothelioma Matter

LOUISIANA — The plaintiff filed suit against multiple defendants alleging he developed mesothelioma while working for Radcliff Materials, a predecessor of Dravo Basic Materials Company (DBMC). Prior to filing suit in Louisiana, The plaintiff had filed a products liability suit against several defendants in California including DBMC. The plaintiff dismissed DBMC from the California suit based on jurisdictional issues. The plaintiff worked as an oiler onboard a dredge known as the Avocet in 1973 for approximately 6 weeks. His primary job duties included reading gauges,…  

Jury Awards $5.1 Million to Widow After Finding Valve Company Breached its Implied Warranty

A jury returned a multi-million dollar verdict against valve defendant Fisher Controls International LLC (Fisher) on January 24. The plaintiffs filed suit against Fisher and other defendants alleging that Thomas Glenn developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working as a pipe fitter for Duke Power. Mr. Glenn’s work involved the use of asbestos containing gaskets used in valves and pumps. Mr. Glenn also worked in the vicinity of others working on Fisher valves. He passed away in February of 2015 and…  

Plaintiff’s Failure to Establish Basic Product Identification Leads to Recommendation of Summary Judgment for Multiple Defendants

DELAWARE — The plaintiff filed suit against several defendants alleging that, Mr. Harding, developed lung cancer as a result of his occupational exposure to asbestos while working in the U.S. Navy and during work in the civilian sector. The case was quickly removed to federal court. Specifically, the plaintiff worked as a plumber in New Canaan, CT from 1962-1963. He recalled working with several brands of residential and commercial boilers. The plaintiff believed that he had been exposed to asbestos from the powder associated with…  

Plaintiff’s Motion for Entry of Final Judgment Denied in Wake of Appeal

WASHINGTON — In the ongoing Leslie Jack litigation previously reported by Asbestos Case Tracker, the plaintiff’s Motion for Entry of Final Judgment in favor of Union Pacific Railroad (Union) was recently denied. The plaintiff moved for entry after Union’s motion for summary judgment was granted by the court and after a mistrial against remaining defendants DCo and Ford was declared. The plaintiff argued that entry of final judgment would lead to judicial economy predicated on the theory that if the plaintiff prevailed on its appeal…  

Set Aside of Default Judgment Against Insurer Affirmed on Grounds of Equity

CALIFORNIA — Several plaintiffs consolidated suit against multiple defendants including Associated Insulation of California (Associated) alleging exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. Associated did not file a response to the complaint. Accordingly, the plaintiffs moved for default judgments in 2013 and again in 2015. The default judgments varied in amounts from $350,000 to $1,960,458. A notice of default had been served upon Associated but not its insurer, Fireman’s Fund (Fireman). Fireman shortly thereafter located policies indicating potential coverage and moved to set…