Scott J. McDowell

All articles by Scott J. McDowell

 

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…  

Prescriptive Statute of Limitation Period Leads to Grant of Summary Judgment in Favor of Shipyard Defendant

LOUISIANA –The plaintiff filed suit against several defendants including Huntington Ingalls (Avondale) and Kaiser Gypsum (Kaiser) alleging her mother, Dolores Punch, developed and passed from mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos for which the defendants were liable. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that her decedent was exposed to asbestos fibers from washing the laundry of her husband who had worked as a pipe fitter at Avondale from 1948-1960. The plaintiff later amended her complaint to include exposure from the work clothes of her son…  

Defendant’s Motions in Limine to Exclude Common Plaintiff’s Experts Denied and Granted in Part in Railroad Case

KANSAS — Asbestos Case Tracker brings you the following development in the previously reported Robert Rabe case. Click to read the factual background. The defendant, The Budd Company (Budd) moved in limine to exclude the plaintiff’s experts, Drs. Brody, Castleman and Frank. The court began its analysis with the standard for expert challenges: A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if: a) the expert’s scientific, technical…  

Failure to Establish Error on Examination Leads to Dismissal in Veteran’s Claim

The plaintiff filed this appeal after denial to entitlement of disability compensation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease “COPD” which she claimed was caused by exposure to asbestos. Ms. Mussman’s claimed that her decedent, Mr. Mussman, was exposed to asbestos was while serving onboard the U.S.S. McNair from 1950-1954. Specifically, it was alleged that Mr. McNair slept 18 inches below asbestos wrapped pipes. In 2012, a VA examination revealed that Mr. Mussman’s disease was more likely related to his smoking history than exposure to asbestos. The…  

Special Master’s Recommendation Vacated; Order Permitting Limited Discovery of Co-Defendants to Establish Apportionment Granted

The defendant John Crane (JCI) has been granted limited discovery of co-defendants to establish apportionment of fault. JCI’s request had been denied by the Special Master. However, JCI argued that the Case Management Order (CMO) placed it in an unfair position for trial. The CMO encouraged defendants to use depositions in asbestos litigation from other defendants and permitted a second deposition by stipulation or permission only. According to JCI, these constraints made it impossible for JCI to meet its burden of proof at trial with…  

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…